APPLETON, Wis. — A bases loaded sacrifice fly from Orlando Marquez in the top of the eighth inning turned out to be the difference maker as the Quad Cities River Bandits edged the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 3-2 on Sunday afternoon.
The Bandits have won the first two games in the series at Fox Cities Stadium. The finale is today at 12:05 p.m. back in Appleton.
Sunday's contest was locked in a 2-2 tie entering the eighth.
Grae Kessinger singled to open the inning for Quad Cities (28-21, 71-44). Oscar Campos followed by working a walk and then Zach Biermann dropped a single into shallow left to load the bases with no outs.
In the next at bat, Marquez worked the count to 2-2 against reliever Tyler Gillies and then lofted a fly ball to the warning track in left field to put the River Bandits in front 3-2.
That was enough for reliever Jose Bravo to finish off the victory. The right-hander entered the game with two men on base in the fifth inning and allowed only one hit over the final 4.1 innings of the ballgame. Bravo has now tossed 16.1 consecutive scoreless innings on the hill.
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The Bandits took the first lead at 1-0 in the top of the fifth. Marquez doubled to open that inning and then was joined on base by Wilyer Abreu who was hit by a pitch. With two outs, Alex McKenna punched a single into left center that drove in Marquez.
Wisconsin (26-23, 57-61) came right back to take the lead in the bottom half of the same inning. Brent Diaz and Antonio Pinero reached base against starter Brett Daniels to open the inning with a hit by pitch and single respectively.
They both advanced into scoring position on a tapper to the mound by LG Castillo and scored on a two-out triple down the first base line by Yeison Coca. Daniels allowed two runs on five hits in 4.2 innings.
The Timber Rattlers first lead of the series did not last long. Campos turned on a pitch from Scotty Sunitsch in the sixth and launched his second home run of the season to tie the game at 2-2. Sunitsch enjoyed his best outing of the season against the River Bandits by allowing two runs and striking out nine over 5.2 innings.
McKenna was the only player with multiple hits to lead the Bandits nine-hit attack. Wisconsin had one hit each from six different players in the contest.