Burlington, Iowa - An early lead was not enough for the Bowling Green Hot Rods (Class-A/Tampa Bay Rays), as they dropped the series finale against the Burlington Bees (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim) on Thursday afternoon, 5-4. The Hot Rods held leads of 3-0 and 4-2, but the Bees scored one in the seventh and two in the eighth to secure the sweep from Bowling Green.
Burlington captured the lead in the eighth. They entered the frame trailing 4-3, but with two outs, Angel Rosa singled to begin the rally. After a single by Eric Aguilera, Ranyelmy Mendoza hit a ground ball up the middle. The ball was misplayed, and it allowed Mendoza to reach and both Rosa and Aguilera crossed the plate to capture the lead from the Hot Rods.
Bowling Green struck first with a three-run third. A walk to Pat Blair and a single by Kean Wong put runners at first and second to start the inning. Juniel Querecuto laid down a sacrifice fly to put runners at second and third with just one out. After Johnny Field was hit by a pitch, James Harris grounded to third baseman Angel Rosa. Rosa's throw home went wide, and allowed both Blair and Wong to score. The inning was capped by Armando Araiza, who singled home Field.
Rosa atoned for his error in the fourth with a run-scoring triple as the Bees plated two to cut the lead to one. Darryl George reached on an error in the seventh, and later scored on a wild pitch to further stretch the lead to 4-2. However, the tide turned when Mark Shannon hit a solo home run in the seventh. The round tripper helped setup the eighth inning which completed the sweep for Burlington.
Bowling Green received another strong start by Jordan Harrison. He worked five innings, and allowed just two runs on five hits. Andrew Hanse (0-1) picked up the loss.
Eswarlin Jimenez (1-1) was the beneficiary of the eight-inning rally, and he recorded the win. Alan Busenitz worked the final two outs to pickup his second save.
The Hot Rods now travel to the second-leg of their road trip. They'll take on the Peoria Chiefs (St. Louis Cardinals) beginning on Friday night. First pitch is slated for 6:30 p.m., with the pre-game coverage getting underway on 1340 AM WBGN- The Ticket. Chris Kirsch will look to build upon his strong first start, as he takes the mound for Bowling Green.
Hot Rods Baseball - It's Just #Funner