GRAND CHUTE, WI - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers closed out their six game homestand with a 9-5 win over the Peoria Chiefs. Brandon Macias and Yadiel Rivera each homered and drove in three runs to help the Rattlers complete a three-game sweep of the Chiefs at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium.
Peoria (38-40 overall, 3-6 second half) took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning. Rattlers starting pitcher Mark Williams allowed a single, a walk, and a wild pitch to put runners at second and third with no outs. An RBI grounder by Yasiel Balaguert and an RBI single by Oliver Zapata put the Chiefs in front.
There was a scary start to the Rattlers half of the second inning. All-Star second baseman Greg Hopkins was hit in the head by a pitch from Peoria starter Zach Cates. Hopkins would get up after a few moments on the ground and walk off the field on his own power. Carlos George entered the game as a pinch runner for Hopkins.
Nick Ramirez lined the next pitch from Cates to the left field corner for a double and George motored home. One out later Max Walla doubled in Ramirez to tie the game.
Rafael Neda reached base on a dropped third strike, but Walla was out at the plate as he was running from second on the pitch and tried to score. Rivera was next and he drove a 3-1 pitch over the wall in left for his eighth home run of the season. That homer by the Rattlers shortstop put Wisconsin up 4-2.
Chadwin Stang kept the inning going with a single and a stolen base. Macias knocked in Stang with a single to complete the five-run inning.
The Chiefs chipped away at Williams with single runs in the third and sixth innings to pull to within 5-4.
In the seventh, Williams retired the first batter. But, the next two batters reached on singles. Reliever Michael Strong took over on the mound and retired the next two batters to keep the Rattlers (49-29, 5-4) up by a run.
Wisconsin padded their lead with three runs in the seventh inning. Rafael Neda singled and went to second on a wild pitch with no outs. Chad Pierce, the starting pitcher on Friday night for Wisconsin, entered the game to pinch run for Neda. Pierce would score from third later in the inning on a wild pitch. Later in the inning, Macias gave the Rattlers an 8-4 lead with a two-run homer.
Rivera made it 9-4 in the eighth inning with a sacrifice fly for his third RBI of the night.
Peoria would get a run off Kevin Shackelford in the ninth inning, but he would close out the game for Wisconsin's fifth straight victory.
The Timber Rattlers being a six-game road trip with a game on Sunday at Quad Cities. Chad Thompson (3-1, 4.82) is the scheduled starting pitcher for Wisconsin. Dail Villanueva (4-4, 3.76) is set to start for the River Bandits. Game time is 5:00pm. Tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or timberrattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 4:40pm.
Yadiel Rivera (8th, 1 on in 2nd inning off Zach Cates, 2 outs)
Brandon Macias (4th, 1 on in 7th inning off Austin Reed, 1 out)
WP: Mark Williams (5-6)
LP: Zach Cates (0-1)