Pierce Johnson tossed a career-high 7 scoreless innings and Reggie Golden drove in a pair of runs to give the Kane County Cougars a 4-2 win over the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers on Sunday at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark in Geneva to close out the first half of their Midwest League schedule.
Johnson (5-5), who allowed 1 hit with 5 strikeouts and 3 walks, worked 2 perfect innings against the Timber Rattlers (29-35), and he stranded runners in scoring position in the first, third and sixth innings. The biggest jam Johnson escaped came in the sixth when he surrendered a single sandwiched in between a pair of two-out walks. With the bases loaded, Mike Garza hit a line drive right at Cougars third baseman Jeimer Candelario that ended the inning.
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Against Timber Rattlers starter Tyler Wagner, Golden blasted a solo homer that ricocheted off the Fifth Third Bank Ballpark sign in left field. In the fourth, the Cougars (30-36) scored 3 runs with two outs by hitting for the cycle. Rock Shoulders smashed a solo home run, his Midwest League-leading 13th of the season. Gioskar Amaya followed with a single, Carlos Escobar drove him in with an RBI double and Golden plated Escobar with a bloop RBI triple.
Wagner (6-5) worked 5 innings, allowing 2 home runs, 7 hits and 4 runs.
In the eighth inning, Cougars reliever Nathan Dorris allowed a single and 2 walks that loaded the bases. With two outs, Garza delivered a single that drove home a pair and cut the lead in half. But Dorris struck out Chris McFarland to end the threat.
Stephan Perasklis earned his third save in three chances in the ninth inning.
The Cougars have three days off for the all-star break before opening a four-game series in Quad Cities on Thursday.