Rattlers Claim Sixth Straight Win
SOUTH BEND, IN – The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers and South Bend Cubs entered Monday night’s game on a roll. Wisconsin had won ten of their last twelve games while the Cubs had a ten-game winning streak ended on Sunday in Beloit. Both teams were 8-1 to open the second half of the Midwest League season tied for the early lead in the Western Division of the Midwest League. The Timber Rattlers offense provided the pop and starting pitcher Justin Jarvis cooled down the Cubs in a 9-1 Wisconsin victory at Four Winds Field.
Drew Smyly, who was making a rehab appearance for the Chicago Cubs, was the starting pitcher for South Bend and he allowed one hit with five strikeouts through the first 3-1/3 innings. Then, Joe Gray Jr crushed the first pitch he saw in the fourth inning over the wall in left-center for his tenth home run of the season and a 1-0 lead for the Rattlers (45-30 overall, 9-1 second half).
Zavier Warren singled with two outs in the fourth to move his hitting streak to eleven games. Ashton McGee was next, and he launched a long home run to right-center for a 3-0 lead.
The Cubs (42-34, 8-2) had a rally going in the bottom of the fourth against Jarvis. Yohendrick Pinango singled and went to third on a hit-and-run single by Jake Washer. Jarvis escaped the inning with two strikeouts and a grounder to Warren at third for a force play at second.
Daniel Palencia, a hard-throwing right-hander, took over for Smyly in the fifth and retired the first two Rattlers he faced. Tyler Black kept the inning alive with a single. Jose Acosta followed with a line drive home run down the line in right for a 5-0 lead.
Wisconsin poured on the offense against Palencia in the sixth inning as they took advantage of three walks to score four runs. Ethan Murray entered the game as a pinch-hitter and drove in a run with a double. Arbert Cipion followed with a two-run single. Acosta capped the inning with an RBI single for a 9-0 advantage.
That was more than enough for Jarvis. The only run he allowed over seven innings was a two-out, solo home run by Luis Verdugo in the bottom of the seventh. Jarvis bounced back to strike out Pete Crow-Armstrong for his eleventh strikeout of the game to end the seventh inning. Jarvis walked one and allowed six hits as he matched his single-game high for innings pitched and strikeouts to put himself in line for his seventh win of the season.
Jarvis has 99 strikeouts in 82 innings pitched this season. He is one strikeout behind teammate Antoine Kelly, who is the Midwest League leader with 100.
The Cubs loaded the bases in the bottom of the eighth against Christian Tripp, but the Rattlers reliever worked his way out of the inning with a strikeout.
Robbie Baker pitched a scoreless ninth with two strikeouts to close out the game.
The Timber Rattlers are 9-1 to start the second half for the first time since the team came into existence in 1995. Two other Wisconsin teams – the 2001 and 2019 squads – started the second half 8-2. The Timber Rattlers are on a six-game winning streak and have won ten of their last eleven games.
The Timber Rattlers and Cubs will be off on Tuesday before resuming their series on Wednesday night at Four Winds Field. Israel Puello (1-0, 1.80) is the scheduled starting pitcher for Wisconsin. South Bend has named Jordan Wicks (2-3, 4.29) as their starter. Game time is 6:05pm CDT. The radio broadcast is on AM1280, WNAM and internet audio starting with the pregame show at 5:45pm. This game is also available to MiLB.tv subscribers.