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Last Call

• How close is John Axford to being back to the form he showed last season?

"I think his fastball is there. I don't think his breaking ball is there," Roenicke said. "His fastball is locating well, and the velocity is there. He was pretty automatic with his curveball last year; if he wanted to throw one first pitch, he usually threw it for a strike, and when he wanted to bury one with two strikes, he could always bounce it."

But Axford's general trajectory is encouraging, Roenicke said.

"He's got more confidence," he said.

• Roenicke spoke Saturday morning with his son, Lance, whose Class A Wisconsin club advanced to the Midwest League semifinals on Friday night. Lance Roenicke has been limited to pinch-running duties because of wrist and shoulder injuries.

The Timber Rattlers were right back to work in Clinton, Iowa, on Saturday night for the opener of a best-of-three series. Game 2 of the series is back in Appleton, Wis., on Sunday night.

• How close is John Axford to being back to the form he showed last season?

"I think his fastball is there. I don't think his breaking ball is there," Roenicke said. "His fastball is locating well, and the velocity is there. He was pretty automatic with his curveball last year; if he wanted to throw one first pitch, he usually threw it for a strike, and when he wanted to bury one with two strikes, he could always bounce it."

But Axford's general trajectory is encouraging, Roenicke said.

"He's got more confidence," he said.

• Roenicke spoke Saturday morning with his son, Lance, whose Class A Wisconsin club advanced to the Midwest League semifinals on Friday night. Lance Roenicke has been limited to pinch-running duties because of wrist and shoulder injuries.

The Timber Rattlers were right back to work in Clinton, Iowa, on Saturday night for the opener of a best-of-three series. Game 2 of the series is back in Appleton, Wis., on Sunday night.