Slow Start Costs Rattlers a 7-1 loss at Burlington

Wisconsin drops ground in second half wild card race, too

By Chris Mehring / Wisconsin Timber Rattlers | August 15, 2018 11:03 PM

BURLINGTON, IA - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers fell into a 3-0 hole in the first inning on Wednesday night against the Burlington Bees at Community Field and they never managed to climb out of it. The Bees ended their seven-game losing streak and Wisconsin's three-game winning streak with a 7-1 win in game one of the three-game series.


Burlington (45-73 overall, 15-34 second half) jumped on Wisconsin starting pitcher Wilfred Salaman for three runs on four hits by the first four batters of the bottom of the first inning. Leonardo Rivas started the inning with a triple. Orlando Martinez drove in Rivas with a single. Kevin Williams followed with a single. Then, Salaman threw a wild pitch to allow both runners into scoring position. Spencer Griffin was next and he singled to center to knock in both runners for a 3-0 lead.

The Rattlers (58-63, 27-25) loaded the bases with one out in the top of the second, but did not score. Wisconsin would strand eight runners in the game.

Darren Seferina walked, stole second, and went to third on a balk to start the top of the third inning. Tristen Lutz hit a hard grounder to short for an RBI infield single to score Seferina and get the Rattlers on the scoreboard. Lutz would make it to second with no outs, but he would be left stranded and the Rattlers were down 3-1.

Salaman settled down after the early onslaught and would retire eight of the next nine hitters he faced. However, he ran headlong into trouble in the fourth inning as he walked the first three batters he faced to load the bases.

Julio Garcia singled to center to drive in the first run of the inning. Alvaro Rubalcaba was next and he singled to left to drive in two more runs and knock Salaman out of the game. 

JT Hintzen relieved Salaman and got the first out of the inning with a strikeout. The second out was a tad unconventional. Martinez blooped in a hit to short left and Lutz grabbed it on one hop. The runner at third got a late start and was thrown out at the plate for the second out.

However, a wild pitch by Hintzen allowed one last run to score before Wisconsin could record the final out.

The bullpens did their job from that point of the game. Hintzen struck out eight over four scoreless innings and Gabe Friese worked a scoreless eighth inning for the Rattlers. Burlington reliever Zack Kelly kept the Rattlers in check after entering the game.

The last real threat of the game for either team came in the seventh inning for the Rattlers against Andrew Wantz. Kenny Corey started the inning with a single but was thrown out trying to stretch the hit into a double. Gabriel Garc
ía was next and he ripped a liner ticketed for the corner in left, but Julio Garcia made a leaping catch for the second out. Nic Pierre kept the inning alive with a double before Wantz walked Seferina and Lutz to load the bases. However, the Rattlers would leave the bases loaded as Wantz ended the rally with a strikeout.

Wisconsin stranded eight runners in the game.

Eddie Del Rosario closed out the game by setting the Rattlers down in order in the eighth and ninth innings.

The Timber Rattlers are 1-9 at Community Field in their last ten games here dating back to the start of the 2017 season.

In the Second Half Western Division Wild Card Race, the Rattlers lost ground to the Wild Card leading Beloit Snappers. The Snappers won 9-1 at Clinton. Also, the Kane County Cougars won their game 2-1 in ten innings at Quad Cities on Wednesday and they passed the Rattlers in the Wild Card standings. The Snappers (29-22) now have a two-game lead over Kane County (27-24) and a 2-1/2 game lead over the Rattlers (27-25). Wisconsin has eighteen games remaining in the regular season.


Game two of the Rattlers series with the Bees is Thursday night. Nelson Hernández (10-8, 4.93) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Burlington will counter with Austin Krzeminski (4-5, 2.14). Game time is 6:30pm. The radio broadcast is on AM1280, WNAM starting with the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino Pregame Show at 6:10pm. The broadcast is also available on the Tune In and IHeart Radio apps.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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