GRAND CHUTE, WI - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers worked through a shaky second inning and went on to defeat the Cedar Rapids Kernels 5-1 on Sunday afternoon at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium. The win was the sixth in a row for the Rattlers.
Both teams committed two errors in the second inning, but it was the Rattlers who came out better in the exchange.
The Kernels (28-34) got on the scoreboard with an unearned run in the top of the second inning with help from two errors by the best defensive team in the Midwest League. Jose Miranda started the inning with a single and went to second on an errant pickoff throw by Bowden Francis. A grounder to first off the bat of Jean Carlos Arias was misplayed for another error and the Kernels had runners at the corners. Robby Rinn grounded into a force play at second to drive in Miranda for a 1-0 lead. Francis retired the next two batters to limit the damage.
Wisconsin (31-32) rallied for three runs in the bottom of the second to take the lead thanks to a pair of errors by the Kernels. Demi Orimoloye reached on a single to start the inning and took second on a grounder. Zach Clark reached on a wild throw after a grounder to short and the Rattlers had runners on the corners. But, that was only for a moment at Clark stole second base. Then, Pat McInerney singled to drive in Orimoloye with the tying run and send Clark to third.
The Rattlers took the lead when McInerney broke for second to draw a throw. Clark broke for the plate as soon as the throw went down to second and he would score when second baseman Jose Miranda dropped the throw. McInerney, who did the job of drawing the throw made it back to first base without a problem.
Later in the frame, McInerney scored from second on a single to center by Kenny Corey for the 3-1 lead.
Francis went into cruise control after the second inning. He would work through seven innings, allowed just three more hits, and picked up his third win of the season.
McInerney and Corey combined to get the Rattlers another run in the bottom of the fourth. McInerney drew a walk to start the inning. This was the ninth straight game McInerney has coaxed a walk from an opposing pitcher. Corey delivered McInerney from second with a two-out single and a 4-1 Wisconsin lead.
Wisconsin's final run scored in the bottom of the eighth. Gabriel García doubled and was sacrificed to third by Corey. A wild pitch allowed García to score for a 5-1 advantage.
The Rattler bullpen closed out the game in scoreless fashion again as Wilfred Salaman worked the eighth and Gabe Friese tossed the ninth. Wisconsin has allowed seven runs in their last six games.
This is Wisconsin's first six-game winning streak since April 24 to April 29, 2016. They will go for their first seven-game winning streak since June 2 to June 9, 2014 when they host the Kernels in the final game of the series - and of their homestand - on Monday afternoon.
Nelson Hernández (7-2, 4.29) is scheduled to start for the Timber Rattlers. Jordan Balazovic (0-0, 0.00) has been named the starting pitcher for the Kernels. Game time is 12:05pm.
If you have a fan of Daniel Tiger who couldn't make it out to the game on Sunday, the PBS Kids' star is back on Monday to meet as many of his fans as he can.
The first 1,000 fans to attend this game will receive a poster of Timber Rattlers pitcher Nelson Hernández courtesy of Brew Pub Pizza.
Purchase an entrée at any Qdoba location in Appleton, Neenah, or Oshkosh for lunch on Monday and receive a ticket to any Monday home game during the 2018 season from Qdoba and NASH-FM.
Also, since this is a weekday afternoon game, this is also a bonus Baker Tilly Business Person Special with WVBO and AM1280, WNAM. Show your business card when you purchase a ticket and for $15 you will receive a box seat ticket, a beverage and your choice of brat or hot dog. The offer is also available to senior citizens (55 & older) and military personnel courtesy of Baker Tilly, WVBO, and AM1280 WNAM.
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 11:45am. 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.