July 11, 2010: Game Notes

ABOUT LAST NIGHT: The Timber Rattlers beat the Burlington Bees 2-1. Efrain Nieves pitched 4-2/3 innings of scoreless relief to pick up the win. Jon Pokorny got the final out for his sixth save of the season.

DOWN EARLY: Deivy Batista and Carlo Testa had back-to-back triples with one out in the top of the first inning off Rattlers starting pitcher Damon Krestalude.

SHUTDOWN MODE: Krestalude allowed one more hit over the next 3-2/3 innings to keep the Bees off the scoreboard. He also struck out four.

TAKING THE LEAD: Scooter Gennett drove in the tying run with a two-out single in the bottom of the third. Gennett scored the go ahead run later in the inning on a balk.

PROTECTING THE LEAD: Nieves allowed two hits, walked two, and struck out five to earn the win. Nieves extended his scoreless streak to 13 innings.

A GOOD SECOND HALF: Nieves is 2-0 with a save in four appearances for the Rattlers since the All-Star Break. He has given up one run on four hits over 13-1/3 innings. Nieves has walked seven and struck out 10 in the second half of the season.

STRANDED: Pokorny entered the game with a runner at first and two out in the top of the ninth inning. He picked up the save by recording the final out. Pokorny has inherited 24 runners this season. He has allowed two to score. Pokorny is 6-for-6 in save opportunities this season.

REVERSING A TREND: The one-run victory for the Timber Rattlers was their second at Time Warner Cable Field this season. The Rattlers beat Kane County 3-2 in the first home game of the season and dropped the next ten home games decided by one run before last night. The team is 5-23 over the entire season in games decided by one run.

SATURDAY NIGHT’S ALL RIGHT: The Rattlers are 3-5 in eight Saturday home games this season. All three of their wins in those Saturday games are over Burlington.

ABOUT THE OPPONENTS: The Burlington Bees are the Midwest League affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. They finished the first half with a record of 22-47 and in eighth place in the Midwest League’s Western Division. In 2009, the Bees went 29-41 in the first half, but qualified for the playoffs with a 35-34 second half record to win the wild card. Burlington advanced to the Midwest League Championship Series, but lost in three games to Fort Wayne. The Bees have won two straight Western Division titles. They were the Midwest League Champions in 2008. Burlington is 8-7 in the second half. They took two out of three from the Cedar Rapids in their most recent series.

2010 SEASON SERIES: The Rattlers lead the season series with the Bees 8-6. Burlington won two out of three from the Timber Rattlers at Community Field April 14-16. Burlington won 8-6 and 11-4 in the first two games of the series. Wisconsin won 9-0 in the series finale. The Rattlers went 3-1 against the Bees in a four game series at Time Warner Cable Field from May 21-24 and swept three games from Burlington June 25-27. Wisconsin had won six straight in the series before the Bees’ swept a three game series from the Rattlers at Community Field on June 25-27.

COMPARE AND CONTRAST: The Timber Rattlers are hitting .249 as a team. They have scored 398 runs (4.7/game) and hit 46 home runs. The Bees are hitting .236 as a team. They have scored 353 runs (4.2/game) and hit 42 homers. Wisconsin pitchers have a team ERA of 4.41 while allowing a total of 419 runs (5.0/game) this season. Burlington pitchers have a team ERA of 4.99 while allowing a total of 478 runs (5.7/game). The Timber Rattler defense has committed 121 errors. The Bees defense has committed 113 errors. Wisconsin is 18-24 in home games this season. Burlington is 15-28 away from home in 2010.

BURLINGTON STARTING PITCHER: RHP Tyler Sample was the 3rd round pick of the Royals in the 2008 draft out of Mullen High School in Denver, Colorado. In the two seasons prior to 2010, Sample is 4-8 with a save, and a 5.07ERA in 24 games (19 starts). He pitched in the Arizona League in 2008 and briefly in 2009. He spent most of last year with Burlington (NC) in the Appalachian League. In his start prior to this evening, Sample took the loss at Quad Cities on July 5. He allowed five runs (two earned) on six hits with two walks and eight strikeouts over six innings. Sample pitched to a pair of batters in the 2010 Midwest League All-Star Game on Tuesday. Sample gave up a hit and retired the other batter he faced. He has made three starts against the Rattlers this season. Sample is 0-1 and has allowed six runs (four earned) on eight hits with 11 walks and nine strikeouts over ten innings. In his last start against the Rattlers, Sample took the loss at Time Warner Cable Field on June 25. He allowed four runs (two earned) on six hits with four walks and four strikeouts over 4-1/3 innings. Baseball America lists him as the #14 prospect in the Kansas City organization and notes that he throws a knuckle-curve to accompany a fastball of over 90mph.

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