Carlos Rodríguez was perfect on Friday night. His Wisconsin Timber Rattlers teammates weren’t too bad either. Rodríguez retired all eighteen batters he faced in the Rattlers 4-1 victory over the Peoria Chiefs Saturday Night at Dozer Park. Jeferson Quero drove in three runs for the offense.
Rodríguez, the #19 prospect in the Milwaukee Brewers minor league system, recorded nine strikeouts over his six perfect innings in his sixth start with the Timber Rattlers since joining the team from the Carolina Mudcats on August 3. He went to a full count on four batters as he totaled 76 pitches with 50 strikes. Rodríguez matched his professional high for innings pitched and strikeouts in a game with his performance on Saturday night.
Chiefs starting pitcher Zane Mills was a match for Rodríguez. Mills allowed two hits, walked none, and struck out four over five scoreless innings.
Wisconsin (65-59 overall, 29-30 second half) had a chance to score in the sixth. Reidy Mercado and Ben Metzinger singled to start the inning to put runners on the corners against Peoria reliever Chris Roycroft. The next two batters struck out before Roycroft walked Joe Gray Jr to load the bases. Roycroft escaped the inning with another strikeout to keep the game scoreless.
The Timber Rattlers took the lead in the top of the seventh inning. Tayden Hall walked to start the frame. Jose Acosta moved Hall to second with a sacrifice bunt. Zack Raabe was next and he blooped a single to right that got Hall to third base. Roycroft uncorked a wild pitch with Mercado at the plate to allow Hall to score the first run of the game.
Taylor Floyd took over for Rodríguez to start the bottom of the seventh. He retired the side in order with one nervous spot where he fell behind Todd Jones 3-1 before coming back for the strikeout.
Jackson Chourio and Jeferson Quero added an insurance run for the Timber Rattlers in the top of the eighth. Chourio doubled high off the wall in left to start the inning. Quero followed with a double to center to score Chourio for a 2-0 lead.
Floyd got the first out of the bottom of the eighth inning but fell behind Aaron McKeithan 3-1 in the count. McKeithan hit a sharp grounder to the hole at short on the 3-1 pitch. Eduardo García attempted a sliding stop on the ball, but it glanced off his glove for a single to give the Chiefs (52-73, 24-35) their first base runner of the game. A walk to Mack Chambers and an infield single by Patrick Romeri loaded the bases for Peoria and was the end of the night for Floyd.
James Meeker took over and got Francisco Hernandez to send a broken-bat grounder to Acosta at second. Acosta charged to field the ball and tagged Romeri for the second out. The throw to first was just a tad late to allow McKeithan to score from third. The Chiefs were on the scoreboard with runners at the corners and two outs.
Meeker ended the eighth with a strikeout to keep the Rattlers up 2-1.
Wisconsin loaded the bases with one out in the top of the ninth inning against Leonardo Taveras. Raabe walked, Mercado singled, and Metzinger was hit by a pitch. Taveras got the second out but was not allowed to face Quero as Andre Granillo came in to face the Wisconsin catcher.
Quero blooped a single to center to score both Raabe and Mercado for two insurance runs and a 4-1 lead. Quero is 8-for-18 with five RBI in the series with the Chiefs.
Meeker went back out for the bottom of the ninth and pitched a 1-2-3 inning for his fifteenth save of the season. Meeker recorded four saves this week. He saved Wisconsin’s win at home on Sunday against Lansing, and picked up saves on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday against the Chiefs in Peoria.
The season series between Wisconsin and Peoria is tied with both teams recording ten wins against the other.
The series finale – and the final meeting of the season between the teams – is Sunday evening at Dozer Park. Stiven Cruz (1-1, 0.56) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Austin Love (7-12, 5.90) is set to start for Peoria. Game time is 6:35pm.