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Rattlers Win Streak Ends on Late Cubs Homer in Game 2

The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers were six outs away from a doubleheader sweep of the South Bend Cubs and a six-game winning streak.  Jefferson Rojas had other ideas for the home team as he hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning in the nightcap of the twinbill to send the Cubs to a 2-1 victory over the Rattlers.


Both starting pitchers buckled but didn’t break.  Wisconsin starter Will Rudy faced traffic in every inning, but no Cub reached second base against him over 4-2/3 innings.  Rudy allowed three hits, walked two, and struck out three.  South Bend starter Sam Armstrong allowed three hits, including back-to-back singles by Gregory Barrios and Mike Boeve in the fourth inning.  He would strike out four without a walk over four innings to keep the game scoreless.
 

Terence Doston and Jose Acosta gave the Timber Rattlers (5-2) the lead in the top of the fifth inning against reliever Angel Hernandez.  Doston singled with one out and was running on the 0-1 pitch to Acosta from Cubs reliever Angel Hernandez.  Acosta lined the ball fair down the line in right for a double and Doston beat the throw home for the 1-0 lead.

Rudy went out for the bottom of the fifth and retired the first two batters before giving up a single to end his 2024 debut on 66 pitches.  Wisconsin reliever Stiven Cruz got the final out of the fifth on a popup.

The Cubs (2-5) started their rally in the bottom of the sixth against Cruz as Rafael Morel drew a four-pitch walk.  Cruz missed with his first two pitches to Rojas before getting a called strike.  Rojas jumped on the next pitch and sent the ball to the bleachers in left to give South Bend a 2-1 lead, their first lead in the series against Wisconsin.

The Rattlers didn’t go quietly in their last at bat with Yovanny Cabrera taking over on the mound for South Bend.  Jesús Chirinos started the top of the seventh with a double and was replaced by pinch runner Jheremy Vargas.  Doston drew a one-out walk to put the go-ahead run on bases.  Cabrera got the next two outs on force plays at second to end the game and the Cubs five-game losing streak.

South Bend didn’t have an at bat with a runner in scoring position in game two of the doubleheader.  Wisconsin was 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position in the nightcap.

 

The series continues with a Saturday afternoon game at Four Winds Field.  Alexander Cornielle (1-0, 3.60) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers.  Luis Devers is set to make his 2024 debut for South Bend.  Game time is 3:05pm CDT.

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