July 22, 2010: Game Notes

ABOUT LAST NIGHT: The Timber Rattlers defeated the Whitecaps 3-1. Maverick Lasker pitched seven innings and allowed one run on four hits for his sixth win of the season. Nick Bucci tossed two scoreless innings for his first professional save. Kentrail Davis scored a run on a wild pitch in the first inning. Cameron Garfield and Michael Marseco drove in the other two runs for the Rattlers with RBI hits in the fourth inning.

TAKING ADVANTAGE: Davis was at third with two outs and Hunter Morris at the plate in the first inning. Morris struck out swinging, but the ball skipped to the backstop. Morris advanced to first base and Davis scored the run to put the Rattlers up 1-0.

PERMISSION TO BUZZ THE TOWER: Lasker retired 18 of the first 20 batters he faced. Avisail Garcia had a two out single in the second and a one out double in the fifth for the only hits (and the only time a Whitecap reached base) off Lasker in the first six innings.

PADDING THE LEAD: Cutter Dykstra reached on an error to start the top of the fourth inning. He stole second to get into scoring position. Then, Garfield drove in Dykstra with a single. Garfield took second on the throw to the plate and scored moments later on a double by Marseco.

FIRST! Bucci had never had a save opportunity in the first eight relief appearances of his professional career. Last night, he retired the first two batters he faced in the eighth, but a single and a pair of walks brought Wade Gaynor to the plate. D’Vontrey Richardson ran down a fly ball to make the final out. Bucci worked around a one out single in the ninth to collect the save.

MULTIBALL: Scooter Gennett had a pair of hits last night. He has 37 games with two or more hits this season. Gennett is the Midwest League leader in hits with 116. He has the highest batting average (.330) of any active Midwest League player who has qualified for the batting title. Mike Trout of Cedar Rapids (.362) and Gerry Sands (.333) still have a higher average, but are no longer in the Midwest League.

AMONG THE LEADERS: Khris Davis extended his hitting streak to six games with a 1-for-4 night last night. He is 12-for-24 (.500) during the streak and has raised his overall average to .313 which is good for seventh in the Midwest League batting race.

THE ROAD EAST: The Rattlers continue their stretch of twelve straight games against the Eastern Division with two more games at West Michigan followed by three in South Bend from July 22 to July 26. The Rattlers are 7-12 against the Eastern Division this season: 3-9 at home and 4-3 on the road.

ABOUT THE OPPONENTS: The West Michigan Whitecaps are the Midwest League affiliate of the Detroit Tigers. They are 33-61 on the season. They finished the first half of the season with a 26-43 record and missed one of the two playoff spots in the Eastern Division. The Whitecaps are 7-18 in the second half. In their most recent series, West Michigan went 0-3 in a series at Kane County. The Whitecaps are 4-15 in 18 games against the Western Division this season.

2009 SEASON SERIES: The Rattlers and Whitecaps played six games in 2009. Wisconsin went 5-1 against West Michigan. The Rattlers swept a three-game series at Fifth Third Ballpark from May 29-31. Wisconsin went 2-1 in a three-game series at Time Warner Cable Field from July 8-11.

JUST BRINGING IT UP: The Rattlers have won four straight at West Michigan. From 2006 to 2008, the Rattlers went 1-10 in 11 games against the Whitecaps in Comstock Park.

COMPARE AND CONTRAST: The Timber Rattlers are hitting .255 as a team. They have scored 444 runs (4.8/game) and hit 52 home runs. The Caps are hitting .248 as a team. They have scored 339 runs (3.6/game) and hit 36 homers. Wisconsin pitchers have a team ERA of 4.44 while allowing a total of 466 runs (5.0/game) this season. West Michigan pitchers have a team ERA of 3.98 while allowing a total of 418 runs (4.4/game). The Timber Rattler defense has committed 133 errors. The Whitecaps defense has committed 91 errors. Wisconsin is 16-27 in road games this season. West Michigan is 18-26 at home in 2010.

WEST MICHIGAN STARTING PITCHER: RHP Luis Angel Sanz was signed as a non-drafted free agent out of Venezuela in 2005. He split time between Oneonta in the New York-Penn League and the Whitecaps in 2009. He started last season with West Michigan and went 0-1 with an 8.64ERA in eight games (one start) from May 16 through June 9. Sanz was 5-4 with a 3.27ERA in 14 starts for Oneonta after being sent down. In his start prior to this evening, Sanz went 2/3 of an inning and allowed six runs on four hits and two walks with two strikeouts at Clinton on July 16. Sanz faced the Timber Rattlers as a reliever at Fifth Third Ballpark on May 31, 2009. In that game, Sanz went two innings and allowed three runs on four hits with a hit batsman, a walk, and two strikeouts.

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