Roberto Alvarez had three hit including a homer and Caleb Sampen threw 7.0 shutout innings as the Bowling Green Hot Rods secured a four-game sweep of the West Michigan Whitecaps with a 4-0 win on Monday afternoon. The Hot Rods improved to 37-26 ahead of Tuesday night's series opener against the Fort Wayne TinCaps at Bowling Green Ballpark, which has a 6:35 p.m. first pitch.
After two scoreless innings, Bowling Green struck first in the third. With one out, Alvarez singled, then moved to third when Osmy Gregorio doubled off the right-field wall. Michael Smith followed with a two-run single up the middle. After Smith was caught stealing, Wander Franco singled to right, then scored when Kaleo Johnson doubled down the left-field line, giving the Hot Rods a 3-0 lead.
With the lead in hand, Sampen took care of the Whitecaps on the mound. The right-hander ran into trouble in the fifth, allowing a walk and a single to begin the inning. However, he picked up a strike out and two groundouts to first to keep West Michigan off the board. Sampen set down the final nine batters he faced, finishing 7.0 shutout innings.
In the home half of the seventh, Alvarez added to his strong day. With one out, he lined a 2-1 pitch over the right-field wall. His third home run of the season extended the Hot Rods lead to 4-0. From there, Nick Sprengel emerged from the bullpen and retired all six hitters he faced to nail the down the victory and the series sweep.
Sampen (5-4) went 7.0 shutout innings, allowing four hits, while walking one and striking out four. Sprengel threw the final two frames, striking out one without allowing a baserunner.
Notes: Franco has a 16-game on-base streak…Alvarez collected his 16th multi-hit game and his third game with three or more hits…He homered for the first time since April 17 vs. Lake County…He also stole his first base since July 4, 2018, while laying for Princeton…Smith had multiple RBI for the fifth time…Sampen's 7.0 innings tied a career high, done three times this season…He also earned his seventh quality start, the most on the roster…The Hot Rods earned their second series sweep of the season (also May 24-27 vs. Dayton, also four games)…Bowling Green earned their fourth shutout of the season…BG improved to 30-6 when outhitting their opponents… They also are 25-11 when scoring first…Bowling Green is 15-3 in day games…The Hot Rods are 32-17 against right-handed starters…BG is 22-10 at home…Bowling Green is 12-5-2 in series this season…The Hot Rods will open a three-game series against Fort Wayne on Tuesday night, with the first pitch at 6:35 p.m.…RHP Miller Hogan (0-0, 1.62) will start for Bowling Green, while Fort Wayne's starter is still to be announced…It will be a Tailwaggin' Tuesday, giving fans the chance to bring their dogs to the ballpark…Fans can catch all the action with Shawn Murnin on Willie 107.9 FM, as well as, with their smart phones via the MiLB First Pitch app and TuneIn Radio app.
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