Timber Rattlers Top Cedar Rapids 4-1
GRAND CHUTE, WI - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers broke open a close game with three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning on their way to a 4-1 win over the Cedar Rapids Kernels on Thursday night at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium. Joey Matulovich pitched five scoreless innings in his first Timber Rattlers start to pick up the win.
Matulovich, a Timber Rattler reliever in 2019 who was just promoted from Carolina earlier this week, made his High-A debut and he made it a good one. The Kernels touched him for three singles in the second inning as they loaded the bases with one out, but he struck out the next two batters. The Kernels also had doubles in the fourth and fifth innings, but Matulovich stranded those runners, too,
Matulovich scattered five hits, walked none, and struck out four for Wisconsin. He was in line for a no decision until the Rattlers (36-38) took the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning on a Cedar Rapids miscue.
Antonio Piñero started the rally with a one-out single and Korry Howell singled to send Piñero to second base. Hayden Cantrelle was next and he sent a grounder near the second base bag. Second baseman Yunior Severino fielded the ball and stepped on the bases for the second out, but his throw to first was wild and that allowed Piñero to score for a 1-0 lead.
Cedar Rapids (42-33) did not go away.
In the sixth inning, Wander Javier doubled and Severino drew a walk against reliever Nash Walters with one out. Walters escaped the jam by getting Michael Helman to ground into a 4-6-3 double play.
In the seventh inning, Daniel Ozoria doubled with two outs. Walters ended the threat by striking out Edouard Julien.
Harold Chirino, Wisconsin's third pitcher of the night, entered the game in the top of the eighth inning and retired the first two batters he faced. Then, Javier tripled to the corner in right field. Chirino protected the 1-0 lead by striking out Julien to end the eighth.
The Timber Rattler offense provided some insurance in the bottom of the eighth inning. Korry Howell singled to start the inning and stole second with one out. Then, Joe Gray Jr. singled to center to score Howell and the Rattlers were up 2-0. Thomas Dillard followed with a double off the wall in left to put runners at second and third.
Je'Von Ward made the score 3-0 when he lined a single through the drawn-in infield to score Gray. Wisconsin added a final run in the inning when LG Castillo reached on a fielder's choice after a force play at second and he beat out a potential inning-ending double play.
The Kernels got on the board and made the game interesting against Chirino in the ninth. Helman hit a home run to left-center to start the inning. Chirino got the first out of the inning, but issued a walk and gave up a single and the Cedar Rapids had the tying run at the plate.
Chirino shut down thoughts of a Kernels comeback by striking out the final two batters to close out the game for his fourth save of the season.
Game four of the series is Friday night. Victor Castañeda (3-4, 3.54) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Cedar Rapids has named Ben Gross (4-0, 2.41) as their starter. Game time is 7:05pm.
Friday night is Seinfeld Night presented by Health Tradition and it features a Timber Rattlers-themed coffee mug with a Seinfeldian twist and an appearance by Steve Hytner, who played Kenny Bania on Seinfeld, to sign autographs and meet with fans on the main concourse from 5:30 to 6:30pm. There is also a FOX 11 Fireworks display after the game. Children twelve and under may run the bases courtesy of Menasha Corporation after the fireworks. Fans of legal drinking age may purchase Arty's Supper Club Cocktails for half-price as part of Supper Club Friday with 101.1 WIXX during the game.
If you can't make it out to the ballpark on Wednesday, the radio broadcast begins at 6:45pm on AM 1280, WNAM. The game can also be heard on internet audio and MiLB.tv.
R H E
CR 000 000 001 - 1 10 1
WIS 000 010 03x - 4 9 0
Michael Helman (9th, 0 on in 9th inning off Harold Chirino)
WP: Joey Matulovich (1-0)
LP: Tyler Watson (2-1)
SV: Harold Chirino (4)
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