DAYTON, OH - Jesse Winker hit a two-out solo home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Dayton Dragons a 7-6 victory over the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers Sunday afternoon at Fifth Third Field. The Timber Rattlers had an early lead and lots of chances in the game, but could not close the deal.
The Rattlers (41-53 overall, 12-17 second half) broke in front with four first inning runs. Alfredo Rodriguez and Michael Reed started the inning with singles and an error allowed them to be on third and second with no outs. Tyrone Taylor drove in Rodriguez with a grounder to third.
Reed was at third base with two outs and Victor Roache at the plate. Roache drove a 2-2 pitch from Dayton starting pitcher Drew Cisco over the wall in center for a two-run home run and a 3-0 lead. The homer was the twelfth of the season for Roache.
Wisconsin tacked on one more run in the first inning. Garrett Cooper doubled after the Roache home run. Tyler Roberts followed with another double to score Cooper for the 4-0 lead.
Dayton (44-55, 16-14) cut Wisconsin's lead in half with a pair of runs in the bottom of the second. Seth Mejias-Brean doubled to start the inning. A single by Jeff Gelalich put runners on the corners. Gelalich would steal second to put two runners in scoring position. An RBI grounder by Tanner Rahier scored Mejias-Brean and second Gelalich to third base. Roberts, the Rattlers catcher, tried to pick Gelalich off third base after a pitch to Joe Hudson, but threw the ball wildly and Gelalich scored.
Dayton took the lead with three runs in the bottom of the third. Rattlers starter Jorge Lopez retired the first two batters of the inning, but he walked Sammy Diaz. Winker followed with a double. Mejias-Brean doubled up the first base line to drive in two runs and tie the game. Gelalich blooped a single to center and Mejias-Brean beat the throw to the plate and the Dragons had a 5-4 lead.
Wisconsin rallied in the top of the fourth. Chris McFarland doubled to start the inning. Reed doubled with two outs to drive him in with the tying run.
But, the Rattlers gave Dayton a run in the bottom of the fourth. Joe Hudson reached on a one out walk. The throw back to the pitcher after a pickoff attempt went awry and Hudson took second. Then, Humberto Valor sent a one-hopper back to the mound. Lopez fielded the ball and had Hudson trapped off second base. He ran Hudson back towards second, but his throw was wild. That allowed Hudson to take third and Valor to move to second. Lopez threw a wild pitch on his next offering and Hudson scored for a 6-5 lead.
Wisconsin rallied in the top of the sixth. McFarland and Adrian Williams drew one out walks and Rodriguez singled to center to get McFarland home with the tying run. Wisconsin wound up with runners at second and third on the play, but could not take the lead.
In the seventh, Roache and pinch-hitter Mike Garza singled with one out, but both runners were stranded.
Williams started the Wisconsin eighth with a double and Rodriguez bunted him over to third base. Reed drew a walk, but Dayton reliever Alejandro Chacin got Taylor to ground into an inning ending 4-6-3 double play.
Taylor Mangum, who came on in the sixth inning and kept the game tied 6-6, retired the first two batters in the bottom of the ninth. But, he fell behind Winker 2-0. Winker cracked the next pitch over the wall in right field for a walkoff home run.
Roache ended the day with three hits to lead Wisconsin's 13-hit attack. However, Wisconsin went 4-for-16 with runners in scoring position during the game.
Both teams have won a game in the series.
Game three of the series at Fifth Third Field is Monday night. Austin Ross (0-0, 6.00) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Sal Romano (6-8, 4.37) is set to start for the Dragons. Game time is 6:00pm CDT (7:00pm EDT). Tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or IHeartRadio starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 5:40pm. Monday's game is also available on MiLB.TV.
Victor Roache (12th, 1 on in 1st inning off Drew Cisco, 2 out)
Jesse Winker (13th, 0 on in 9th inning off Taylor Mangum, 2 out)
WP: Michael Lorenzen (1-0)
LP: Taylor Mangum (2-6)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.