CLINTON, IA - The Clinton LumberKings scored six unearned runs in the first two innings on their way to building a 10-0 lead over the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers on Monday night at Ashford University Field. The LumberKings hit three home runs as they beat the Rattlers 10-3.
Clinton (60-54 overall, 21-23 second half) took advantage of some unusually sloppy play by the Timber Rattlers defense to take a 6-0 lead after the bottom of the second inning.
In the first, Billy Cooke singled to start the game. Joseph Rosa was next and he sent a slow grounder back to the mound. Rattlers starting pitcher Bowden Francis slipped as he fielded the ball and fired the ball down the right field line after he righted himself. Cooke had scored and Rosa was standing on third by the time the ball was collected by the Wisconsin defense. Francis struck out the next two batters, but allowed an RBI single to Dimas Ojeda and the LumberKings were up 2-0.
A misplay on a grounder to third with one out and a runner at third denied the Rattlers a chance for an inning-ending double play in the second. The LumberKings had runners at first and third with two outs when a poor throw by catcher Payton Henry on an attempted steal of second base sailed into center to allow the runner from third to score the first run of the inning. The error was just the second of the season on Henry.
Francis would issue a walk on a 3-2 pitch to extend the inning. Then, Keegan McGovern doubled to left-center to drive in two runs for a 5-0 lead. Eugene Helder followed with an RBI single and the Rattlers were down six runs after two innings.
Rainis Silva cracked a two-out, two-run homer off Michael Petersen in the bottom of the fifth inning to give the LumberKings an 8-0 lead and extend a Clinton home run streak against Wisconsin (52-61, 21-23). The LumberKings have hit at least one home run in seven straight games versus the Rattlers.
Ray Kerr, the starter for the LumberKings, entered the game with a 3-10 record and an ERA of 4.70. Kerr would pitch six scoreless innings and strike out eight while walking two. Wisconsin managed two hits off Kerr. Eddie Silva had an infield single in the fourth and another infield single in the sixth.
McGovern welcomed reliever Gabe Friese to the game with a leadoff home run in the bottom of the sixth. Onil Pena hit a one-out, solo home run off Friese in the seventh. Those homers gave Clinton twenty home runs in fifteen games with the Rattlers in 2018.
Wisconsin avoided the shutout with a two-out rally in the top of the eighth inning against reliever Randy Bell, but just barely. Jay Feliciano and Nic Pierre singled to start the inning, but both were still on base with two outs after a pair of strikeouts. Tristen Lutz singled to center to score Feliciano. KJ Harrison was next and he knocked in both Pierre and Lutz with a double into the corner in left to make the score 10-3. That would be as close as the Rattlers would get in the game.
The teams split the four-game series at Ashford University Field. The Rattlers won game one on Saturday 9-2 and the second game of Sunday's doubleheader 5-2. The LumberKings won game one of Sunday's twinbill 4-0 and Monday's single game. Clinton holds a slight edge in the season series with eight wins to Wisconsin's seven. Both teams trail Beloit by six games for the Second Half Western Division Wild Card spot with 26 games left in the season.
The teams will square off in another four-game series in Clinton August 24-27.
The Timber Rattlers are off on Tuesday. They return to action on Wednesday for the first game of three-game series against the Burlington Bees at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium. Dylan File (6-9, 4.34) is the scheduled starting pitcher for Wisconsin. The Bees will counter with Jose Soriano (0-5, 5.40). Game time is 7:05pm.
Some of the coolest cars from television and movies will be on display outside the stadium before this game. Wisconsin Star Cars is bringing KITT, the General Lee, the DeLorean from Back to the Future, and Ecto-1 to the ballpark.
All fans may enjoy Cher-Make hotdogs and Pepsi products for $1. Fans 21 and older may purchase 12-ounce domestic beers for $1. This is a part of Bang for Your Buck Night at the ballpark with Y100! Also, one lucky fan will win two charter airfare tickets courtesy of AAA Travel and Funjet Vacations.
If you can't make it out to the ballpark, there are many ways to catch the action. The radio broadcast is on AM1280, WNAM starting with the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino Pregame Show at 6:45pm. The broadcast is also available on the Tune In and IHeart Radio apps. Subscribers to MiLB.tv can watch the game over the internet.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.