Fort Wayne, Ind. - The offense scored early and often as the Bowling Green Hot Rods (Class-A/Tampa Bay Rays) closed out the first half in style with a 12-3 rout of the Fort Wayne TinCaps (San Diego Padres) on Sunday afternoon. The Hot Rods amassed 22 hits, just one shy of the franchise record of 23 set back in 2012.
With four runs in the second inning, Bowling Green set the tone early offensively. With one out, Pat Blair sliced a single to left field. One out later, Yoel Araujo singled to move up Blair to second base. Alexander Simon then singled up the middle to drive home Blair. Two errors helped Araujo and Kean Wong to score, and Johnny Field capped the inning with a single to right-center field that advanced Wong home. The Hot Rods led 4-0 after one inning.
Araujo led off the fourth inning by clubbing his tenth home run of the season. It hit a building that lies beyond the left-field walkway, and the blast stretched the Bowling Green advantage to 5-0.
Two more runs crossed for the Hot Rods in the sixth. Field plated another run with a single, and Armando Araiza was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to force home Wong. After Fort Wayne got on the board with a pair of runs in the sixth, the Hot Rods pulled the runs back in the seventh. Blair led off the frame with a triple and scored on a sacrifice fly by Araujo. Simon followed with a triple, and Juniel Querecuto sent him home with hit to center field.
The TinCaps added their third run in the seventh, but Bowling Green put it out of reach with three in the ninth. Simon and Querecuto hit back-to-back singles to lead-off the inning, and two outs later, Ariel Soriano doubled them home. Araiza then hit a ground-rule double to cap the scoring, as it plated Soriano and extended the lead to 12-3.
Eight of the nine Bowling Green starters recorded multi-hit games, highlighted by four-hit efforts by Querecuto and Araiza. Six of the 22 hits went for extra bases, and four different Hot Rods drove in two runs.
Lost in the offensive outburst was the gem thrown by Bowling Green starter Jaime Schultz (2-0). He worked six innings and allowed just two runs (one earned) without issuing a free pass. Schultz struck out eight batters while lowering his earned run average to 0.93.
Walker Weickel (1-8) lasted just four innings and took the loss for Fort Wayne.
The All-Star break means no games for the Hot Rods until Thursday, when they'll open up second-half play in Lansing, Mich. Baseball will return to Bowling Green Ballpark on Tuesday, June 24, when the Hot Rods host Lake County (Cleveland Indians). For tickets and more information, fans can visit BGHotRods.com or call 270-901-2121.
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