DAYTON, OH - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers had a great start. The Dayton Dragons had a better finish. Wisconsin stormed out to an 8-1 lead after the top of the second inning at Fifth Third Field on Monday night. But the Dragons rallied for a 10-9 win to spoil a great night for Victor Roache. The Rattlers left fielder hit a pair of home runs in his first two at bats and drove in seven runs to give Wisconsin the big lead, but the Rattlers bats fell silent after the big start and it cost them.
Roache put the Timber Rattlers up in the first inning. Wisconsin had two runners on and two out and Roache crushed his thirteenth home run of the season off the scoreboard to give the Rattlers a 3-1 lead.
Dayton got a run in the bottom of the first inning on an RBI grounder by Jesse Winker.
Roache came back to the plate in the top of the second inning with the bases loaded and two outs. He lined a grand slam over the wall in left-center for home run number fourteen of the year. The Rattlers were up 7-1, but they weren't done in the inning. Mike Garza singled. Then, Parker Berberet doubled off the wall to drive in Garza for an 8-1 lead.
Ross gave up a run in the bottom of the second on an RBI double by Joe Hudson and pitched a scoreless third.
But, he struggled in the fourth. Ross, who underwent Tommy John Surgery on May10, 2012, had not gone longer than three innings in any of his starts between the Arizona League and the Timber Rattlers this season. He got the first out on a liner back to the mound. The next three batters reached on a single, an error, and a single to load the bases. Beau Amaral drove in a pair of runs with a double to make the score 8-4 and knock Ross out of the game.
Rattlers reliever Mike Strong got the second out of the inning, but walked Winker to load the bases and Seth Mejias-Brean to force in a run to make it 8-5.
Mejias-Brean struck for a leadoff home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to bring Dayton to within 8-6.
Chris McFarland started the Wisconsin eighth inning with a double. That was the first hit for Wisconsin since the second inning. Orlando Arcia moved McFarland over with a sacrifice bunt. Alfredo Rodriguez got McFarland in with a sacrifice fly and the Rattlers were up 9-6.
But in the eighth the Dragons loaded the bases on a walk, a single, and an error. Strong hit Sammy Diaz to force in a run to make the score 9-7. Winker sent a dribbler in front of the plate for an infield single to drive in the run to make the score 9-8 and keep the bases loaded.
Jono Armold entered the game at this point and struck out Mejias-Brean for the first out. Jeff Gelalich got the tying run home and moved Diaz to third with the go ahead run on a sacrifice fly to right field. Armold threw a wild pitch with Tanner Rahier at the plate and Diaz scored the go ahead run as Winker took second base. Then, Rahier singled to center. But, Tyrone Taylor threw Winker out at the plate to keep the Rattlers down 10-9.
In the top of the ninth, Wandy Peralta got the first out before facing Roache. Peralta missed with his first three pitches and the Dragons decided to intentionally walk Roache. Garza lined the next pitch to right-center and Roache cruised for third. However, Garza tried to stretch the hit into a double and was thrown out at second base for the second out of the inning.
That brought Berberet to the plate and Peralta got ahead of the Wisconsin catcher with two quick strikes. Berberet sent a sinking line drive to left-center, but Winker, who won Sunday's game with a walkoff home run in the bottom of the ninth inning, charged in and made a diving, game-saving catch for the final out.
The Timber Rattlers are off on Tuesday. They return to action with a home game on Wednesday night against the Clinton LumberKings at 7:05pm. Preston Gainey (3-5, 7.01) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Rigoberto Garcia (0-1, 6.75) is scheduled to start for Clinton.
Fox Communities Credit Union will be giving away envelopes filled with cash to fans as they enter the stadium on Wednesday. There will be different denominations of bills inside the envelopes. Then, you can check to see if your windfall is equal to that of WWE Hall of Famer Ted DiBiase. The Million Dollar Man will be available to meet fans for autographs, handshakes, and pictures during the game.
Wednesday is always a Bang for Your Buck Night with WIXX and that means $1 Cher-Make hot dogs, $1 Pepsi Products, and $1 Miller Beers!
If you can't make it out to the ballpark, My NEW32's Sports Showdown will have the television broadcast starting with their pregame show at 6:30pm. The radio broadcast is available on AM1280, WNAM or IHeartRadio starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 6:45pm. Wednesday's game is also available to subscribers of MiLB.TV.
Victor Roache (13th, 2 on in 1st inning off Sal Romano, 2 out)
Victor Roache (14th, GRAND SLAM in 2nd inning off Sal Romano, 2 out)
Seth Mejias-Brean (6th, 0 on in 7th inning off Mike Strong, 0 out)
WP: Joel Bender (4-2)
LP: Mike Strong (1-3)
SAVE: Wandy Peralta (1)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.