GRAND CHUTE, WI - Victor Roache had a hand in three runs and Jorge Lopez allowed just two runs as the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers beat the Kane County Cougars 4-2 Wednesday night at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium. Roache had three hits, drove in two runs, and scored once while Lopez struck out five over seven innings to pace the Rattlers to a win in the final game of the five game series between the teams.
Alfredo Rodriguez started the Wisconsin first inning with a single and a steal of second base. Michael Reed bunted to move Rodriguez over to third base, but Rodriguez was still at third with two outs. Roache came through with a double to center to send Rodriguez home for a 1-0 lead.
Kane County (32-47 overall, 2-11 second half) tied the game in the top of the third inning. Gioskar Amaya singled and a throwing error after a sacrifice bunt by Brad Zapenas put Cougars on second and third with no outs. Jorge Lopez retired the next two batters to keep the runners at second and third. But, a two-out, infield single by Dan Vogelbach drove in Amaya to tie the game.
Wisconsin (34-44, 5-8) retook the lead in the bottom of the fourth. Roache started the inning with a single. He went to third on single by Mike Garza. The Rattlers had runners at the corners with one out and Parker Berberet at the plate. Berberet sent a chopper back to the mound. Cougars starter Michael Heesch went to second for the force on Garza, but Berberet beat the throw to first deny Kane County an inning-ending double play to allow Roache to score the run.
Kane County rallied to tie the game again in the top of the sixth. Lopez walked Albert Almora to start the inning. Vogelbach was next and he lined a double to right-center to drive in Almora to make the score 2-2.
The Rattlers responded in the bottom of the sixth. Tyrone Taylor walked with one out. Then, Roache smacked a triple to the gap in right-center to knock in Taylor with the go-ahead run. Garza added an insurance run with a single over the drawn in infield to get Roache home for a 4-2 lead.
Lopez worked a scoreless seventh inning to hold the lead. The seven inning outing for Lopez was his longest as a professional. He allowed two runs - one earned - on five hits, walked a batter, hit a batter, and struck out five to put himself in position for the win.
Taylor Mangum came out of the Rattlers bullpen and pitched two scoreless innings with three strikeouts to preserve the win for Lopez and earn his fourth save of the season.
Roache needed a home run to hit for the first cycle in Timber Rattlers history, but popped out to second base when he led off the Rattlers eighth. Taylor's hitting streak ended at 16-games as he went 0-for-3 in the game, but those were about the only downers for the Rattlers as they won their third straight game and wound up with four wins in the five game series against the Cougars.
The Timber Rattlers begin a five-game road trip with a matchup against the Cedar Rapids Kernels at Perfect Game Field on Thursday evening. Ryan Gibbard (3-1, 5.77) is the scheduled starting pitcher for Wisconsin. The Kernels have Josue Montanez (2-1, 4.28) as their scheduled starter. Game time is 5:05pm. Tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or timberrattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 4:45pm.
WP: Jorge Lopez (4-6)
LP: Michael Heesch (3-7)
SAVE: Taylor Mangum (4)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.