The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers trailed the Quad Cities River Bandits 4-0 with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning on Sunday afternoon in the series finale at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium. The Rattlers responded by taking the lead with five runs in the inning to take the lead and added four more two-out runs later in the game for a 9-4 victory over the River Bandits. Wisconsin took four of six games in the series.
Quad Cities (52-68 overall, 20-34, second half) took the lead in the first inning on a two-out, RBI double by Juan Carlos Negret.
Carter Jensen made it 2-0 with a lead-off home run in the top of the fourth inning against Wisconsin starter Edwin Jimenez.
The River Bandits loaded the bases with one out in the top of the fifth on a walk and two singles. Negret drove in a run with a single. Then, Jensen knocked in the second run of the inning with a sacrifice fly to make the score 4-0.
Hendry Mendez singled to start the Wisconsin fifth inning, but he was still at first base with two outs. Then, the Rattlers offense found the range on Bandits starting pitcher Luinder Avila. The next five hitters reached base to give Wisconsin a 5-4 lead.
Ben Metzinger started the surge with an RBI double off the wall in left to score Mendez. Fernández followed with a single to right to get Metzinger home and the Rattlers (52-66, 26-28) were within two runs.
Fernández stole second to get into scoring position and Eric Brown Jr knocked him in with another single.
Brown tied the game on his own. He was running on a pitch that got back to the backstop and kept going for third. Brown would score the tying run when the throw to third wound up in left field.
Robert Moore extended the rally when he drew a walk and stole second to get into scoring position.. Brock Wilken put the Rattlers in front with a single to right that scored Moore for a 5-4 lead.
The Rattlers gave Jimenez some breathing room in the sixth inning when Fernández hit a two-out, three-run home run. Fernández ended the day 2-for-4 with two runs scored and four RBI.
Meanwhile, Jimenez found his footing to put himself in line for his fifth win of the season. He allowed nine hits and four runs, but retired the last eight batters he faced in order. Jimenez walked one and struck out five in the game.
Moore added an insurance run in the eighth with one more two-out, RBI single.
The bullpen closed out the game as Nick Merkel worked a scoreless eighth and Tanner Shears pitched a scoreless ninth.
Unfortunately, the Timber Rattlers were unable to pick up ground on the Peoria Chiefs in the second half West Division playoff race. The Chiefs trailed the West Michigan Whitecaps 3-2 heading to the bottom of the eighth before tying the game. The Whitecaps took a 4-3 lead with a run in the top of the tenth only to see the Chiefs score twice in the bottom of the tenth for a 5-4 win.
Peoria is 31-23 in the second half and has the tie-breaker on Wisconsin. They lead the Timber Rattlers by five games with twelve games remaining. The Chiefs start a six-game series at Quad Cities on Tuesday.
The Timber Rattlers are off on Monday. They will return to action on Tuesday with game one of a series against the Beloit Sky Carp at ABC Supply Stadium. Game time is 6:35pm.