The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers dropped game one of their six-game series with the Cedar Rapids Kernels 7-2 on Tuesday night at Perfect Game Field. The Kernels offense used two homers to pull away and their bullpen was almost perfect over the final 5-2/3 innings. The Kernels scored in all four innings in which they put the lead-off batter on base.
Kernels starting pitcher Orlando Rodríguez recorded four strikeouts and allowed no hits in the first inning, but Wisconsin (58-50 overall, 22-21 second half) scored an unearned run. Jeferson Quero struck out for what should have been the final out of the first, but a wild pitch let him take first base. Then, Ben Metzinger’s popup to short was dropped to put runners at second and third. Rodríguez threw another wild pitch and this one let Quero score to give Wisconsin the lead.
Cedar Rapids (64-45, 21-22) came back to tie the game in the bottom of the first inning when two singles and a wild pitch by Rattlers starter Justin Jarvis put runners on second and third with no outs. Jake Rucker knocked in the run for the Kernels with a sacrifice fly.
Jarvis walked Mikey Perez, the lead-off batter in the second, on four pitches. Perez stole second and scored on a one-out single by Willie Joe Garry Jr to put the Kernels up 2-1.
Rodríguez got a strikeout to start the top of the fourth inning to set a new single-game high as a pro with nine. He would not get another K. Eduardo García singled on doubled on an 0-2 pitch. Then, Ernesto Martínez singled to right to drive in García with the tying run. That would chase Rodríguez from the game. Derek Molina took over and got out of the inning with Martínez running on a pitch to Ethan Murray. Martínez was around second and halfway to third base as Murray’s popup to second was caught and turned into an easy double play.