The Quad Cities River Bandits batted around in an inning for the second time in as many games Tuesday, but Wisconsin Timber Rattlers left fielder Victor Roache hit a go-ahead, two-run home run to cap a four-run seventh inning and give the home team a 9-7 win at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium.
Three River Bandits had multi-hit games, and right-hander Jamaine Cotton was in line for a victory in his first Midwest League start, as the visitors built a 7-4 lead by the fourth inning. Right-hander Vincent Velasquez (3-2) took over with the same lead to start the sixth inning and worked around a walk and single for a scoreless inning to start his outing.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, third baseman Mike Garza drove a ball to the left-field wall that Terrell Joyce relayed to second baseman Austin Elkins for the first out. With the bases empty, shortstop Orlando Arcia singled to left-center field, and Velasquez walked designated hitter Tyrone Taylor. A wild pitch advanced the runners to second and third bases, and right fielder Michael Reed grounded an infield single up the middle to bring in the first run. Center fielder Mitch Haniger closed the lead to 7-6 with a sacrifice fly to center field, and Roache came to bat with two outs and a runner at first base. After Velasquez delivered a strike, Roache launched the next pitch over the left-field wall for an 8-7 lead - his second go-ahead, two-run home run against Quad Cities this season. Roache homered in his first professional at bat against the River Bandits on April 21.
Wisconsin (18-17) added a run in the eighth inning against right-hander Richard Rodriguez, who went 1 1/3 innings in his Midwest League debut. Timber Rattlers right-hander Tyler Wagner (4-1) struck out five batters and faced one over the minimum in the final four innings, with the only hit a seventh-inning double by designated hitter Brian Blasik, who led Quad Cities with three hits. Shortstop Carlos Correa was 2-for-5 and scored a game-high three runs, and first baseman Jesse Wierzbicki was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs before he was ejected following his words to home plate umpire Evan Barger after being called out on strikes in the ninth inning.
Quad Cities (21-16) took a 1-0, first-inning lead when Correa scored on a throwing error by Arcia. Wisconsin answered with four runs in the first inning against Cotton, as Haniger hit a two-run home run, and catcher Parker Berberet grounded a two-run double down the right-field line for a 4-1 lead. The River Bandits rallied for five runs - including four with two outs - on four hits in the second inning, with Joyce hitting a go-ahead two-run double. Wierzbicki extended the lead to 7-4 with an RBI double in the fourth . Cotton finished five innings and faced the minimum over his final 4 1/3 innings, as catcher Roberto Pena threw out Reed trying to steal in the second, and first baseman Adam Giacalone hit into an inning-ending double play in the third. Cotton set down the final seven batters he faced.
The River Bandits and Timber Rattlers continue their series at 6:35 p.m. Wednesday, when Quad Cities right-handers Lance McCullers (0-3) and Daniel Minor (2-1) face Wisconsin right-handers Leonard Lorenzo (1-2) and Damien Magnifico (4-0).