Cedar Rapids (57-74 overall, 25-36 second half) grabbed the lead with a run in the top of the third. They loaded the bases with no outs against Rattlers starting pitcher Del Howell on a walk and two singles. Howell uncorked a wild pitch to let in the first run of the game, but did not allow another run in the frame.
The Timber Rattlers offense, which scored 19 runs on Friday night, went off in the bottom of the fourth. Cody Hawn started the inning with a double. He went to third on a grounder to the right side off the bat of Nick Ramirez. Chad Stang sent a grounder to third that Brian Hernandez made a nice play just to glove. But, Hernandez went home with the throw. Hawn scored the tying run when the low throw was not handled by catcher Marcus Nidiffer.
Rafael Neda was next and he singled to put two runners on base. Greg Hopkins followed with a double to score Stang with the go ahead run.
Reggie Keen kept the hit parade going with an RBI single when he pinch-hit for Carlos Gomez. One out later TJ Mittelstaedt drew a walk to load the bases. That walked knocked Kernels starting pitcher RJ Jang out of the game.
Jason Rogers greeted Kernels reliever Ty Kelly with a towering double off the top of the wall in left field. The double scored all three runners to give the Rattlers (65-66, 27-34) a 6-1 lead. Cody Hawn capped the inning with an RBI double for the 7-1 advantage.
Howell allowed one more run in his six innings of work and left the game with a 7-2 lead. Howell matched his professional high for strikeouts in a game with six and picked up his third win of the season.
Rattlers reliever Greg Holle took over for Howell in the top of the seventh. The tall right-hander pitched three perfect innings with four strikeouts to close out the Kernels for his nineteenth save of the season. Holle has tied a Timber Rattlers franchise record for saves in a season. John Thompson set the mark with 19 saves in the 1995 season.
Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez went 0-for-1 with a walk, a stolen base, and three putouts center as he played the first game of his four game rehabilitation assignment with the Rattlers on Saturday.
Game two of the series - and of the rehab assignment for Gomez - is on a jam packed Sunday afternoon at Time Warner Cable Field. Jimmy Nelson (7-8, 4.52) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Rattlers. Cedar Rapids has Jairo Diaz (0-1, 5.56) as their scheduled starter. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05pm.
Fans may play catch on the field before the game from 12:00 until 12:30pm and get autographs from their favorite players during a postgame autograph session.
Former Milwaukee Brewers catcher Damian Miller will be on hand to throw out a ceremonial first pitch. Miller will be available for autographs on the third base picnic deck for an hour after the start of the game.
Myron Noodleman makes his return to Time Warner Cable Field and will entertain the fans with his skits and antics.
Sunday is also the final Brewers Sunday of the season. The Timber Rattlers players and coaches will wear the jerseys based on the uniforms of the 1975 Milwaukee Brewers for the final time. After the game there will be a live auction for fans to bid on the jersey they want to take home. Proceeds from the auction will go to Children's Hospital of Wisconsin.
If you can't make it out to the game, you can tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or timberrattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 12:45pm. Sunday's game is also available on MiLB.TV.
WP: Del Howell (3-8)
LP: PJ Jang (2-6)
SAVE: Greg Holle (19)