GRAND CHUTE, Wis. — The Cedar Rapids Kernels had their eight-game win streak snapped Wednesday night by the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, 3-2.
An infield RBI single by Jaylin Davis scored Luis Arraez with the first run of the game in the top of the first inning. Arraez went 2-for-4 to raise his Midwest League-leading average to .348.
Jake Gatewood’s RBI double in the bottom of the inning against Kernels starting pitcher Sean Poppen (0-1) tied the game. Lucas Erceg then smashed a two-run home run to make it 3-1.
Erceg has seven home runs in 39 games since joining Wisconsin’s team from Rookie-league Helena.
J.J. Fernandez had a solo home run to left in the sixth inning to cut the C.R. deficit to 3-2. The Kernels had two on and none out in the fifth and eighth innings but couldn’t manage to score the tying run.
Conor Harber (4-3) was the starting and winning pitcher for Wisconsin. Nathan Griep got the final four outs for his MWL-best 23rd save.
Wisconsin has taken a one-game lead on Burlington for the final available second-half playoff spot in the Midwest League’s Western Division. Cedar Rapids has clinched the first berth and first-round home-field advantage in a best-of-3 division semifinal series against either Wisconsin or Clinton that begins next Wednesday.
These teams play again Thursday night.