GRAND CHUTE, Wis. — The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers scored a run in the sixth inning and three in the seventh to topple the Cedar Rapids Kernels, 4-1, in Midwest League baseball Thursday night.
Wisconsin has won the first two games of this three-game series to assume a two-game lead over Burlington for the final available second-half playoff spot in the Western Division. There are four regular-season games remaining for everyone.
Cedar Rapids (76-59, 40-26 second half) already has cinched the first available second-half playoff spot in the division, meaning the Kernels have home-field advantage in the best-of-3 division semifinals that begin Wednesday at either Wisconsin or Burlington.
Games 2 and 3, if needed, will be the next two nights at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
The Kernels’ lone run came in the eighth on a Nelson Molina RBI single. Wisconsin’s first run scored on a throwing error on C.R. catcher Rainis Silva.
The seventh-inning troika of runs came thanks to a pair of errors and back-to-back hit batters. Starting pitcher Lachlan Wells (6-4) took the loss, though he allowed just three hits and no earned runs in 6 1/3 innings.
The Australian teenager struck out 11. Second baseman Luis Arraez went 2-for-3 to raise his batting average to a Midwest League-leading .350.
The teams play again Friday night at 6:35.