GRAND CHUTE, WI - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers received six shutout innings and six strikeouts from Aaron Ashby and three RBI from Gilbert Lara to propel them to a 5-0 victory over the Kane County Cougars at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Ashby, the fourth round pick of the Milwaukee Brewers in the 2018 draft, was transferred to the Timber Rattlers roster on Sunday morning to make his Midwest League debut. Ashby scattered six hits over his six innings and had to pitch out of a few jams.
The first bit of trouble was of his own making. Yan Sanchez singled with one out in the fourth inning. Then, Ashby made an errant pickoff throw to first and Sanchez wound up at third base. The left-hander got out of the inning with a strikeout and a grounder to third.
Lara gave Ashby the lead with a two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth inning. Those were the only two runs the Rattlers (47-57 overall, 16-19 second half) had against Kane County starting pitcher Franklyn Soriano, who pitched five innings on Sunday.
Kane County (52-52, 17-18) had another decent threat against Ashby in the top of the sixth inning. Ryan Grotjohn doubled with one out and Sanchez followed with a bunt single to put runners on the corners. Ashby bounced back to retire the next two batters on a strikeout and a foul fly to right to keep the Cougars off the scoreboard.
The Rattlers added to their lead by scoring three runs on just one hit in the bottom of the sixth off reliever Juan Torres. A dropped fly to center allowed Rob Henry to reach second base. Then, Trever Morrison walked. Tristen Lutz singled to right to score Henry for a 3-0 lead. KJ Harrison loaded the bases by drawing a walk. Torres uncorked a wild pitch to let Morrison score the second run of the inning. Lara drove in the final run of the inning with a sacrifice fly to get Lutz home for a 5-0 advantage.
Two Timber Rattlers relievers closed out the game with three scoreless innings. Carlos Herrera pitched around a single in the seventh inning and a hit batsman in the eighth for his two scoreless frames. JT Hintzen gave up a hit with one out in the ninth, but closed out the game with a pair of strikeouts.
Wisconsin's pitching staff has nine shutouts this season. They are fourth in the Midwest League in that category.
Game three of the series is Monday night. Christian Taugner (6-7, 3.54) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Jayson McKinley (4-3, 3.60) is set to start for the Cougars. Game time is 7:05pm.
Monday night marks the return of Dime Dog Night at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium. Cher-Make Hot Dogs will be available for ten cents throughout the night.
The first 1,000 fans to attend this game will receive a poster of Timber Rattlers All-Star Pitcher Dylan File presented by 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. This offer is part of a Qdoba Q*Monday with NASH-FM, 99.5 & 104.9.
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.