Chris Betts launched his third grand slam of the season and Alan Strong twirled 7.0 innings of one-run ball to lead the Bowling Green Hot Rods to a 12-2 victory over the West Michigan Whitecaps on Saturday night. The Hot Rods moved to 51-35 ahead of Sunday's contest, which will have a 2:05 p.m. first pitch at Bowling Green Ballpark.
After West Michigan went down scoreless against Strong, the Hot Rods struck in the bottom of the first against West Michigan starter Gio Arriera. Ford Proctor led off with a single, then scored when Connor Hollis doubled down the left-field line in his first at-bat since May 21, giving the Hot Rods a 1-0 lead.
In the second, the Hot Rods added on. After a leadoff single by Grant Witherspoon, Arriera walked the next four hitters, bringing in two runs. Arriera departed and Hollis drove in a run on a groundout against new pitcher Drew Crosby. Jonathan Aranda followed with an RBI single, then Proctor scored on a wild pitch by Crosby.
In the third, Bowling Green continued to pile on against Crosby. After Jordan Qsar lined a two-out double, Kevin Santiago lifted a fly ball that just cleared the right-field wall for a two-run homer, extending the advantage to 8-0.
In the sixth, Chris Betts provided the finishing blow. After two walks and a single loaded the bases, Betts lined an 0-1 delivery from Jose Vasquez into the left-field bullpen for his third grand slam of the season, extending Bowling Green's advantage to 12-0.
Strong allowed a solo homer to Parker Meadows in the seventh inning, but managed to finish the frame, handing the ball off to the bullpen. Nathan Witt fired a scoreless eighth and Chris Muller allowed a run in the ninth, but the Hot Rods still cruised to a 12-2 win.
Strong (6-4) went 7.0 innings, allowing one run on five hits while walking two and striking out eight in earning the win. Witt threw a scoreless inning, working around two walks in his Hot Rods debut. Muller finished off the victory with one inning of work, allowing a run on a hit and a hit.
Notes: Betts homered for the second-straight night…His grand slam was his third of the season, tying the franchise record (also Phillip Wunderlich, 2011)…Betts also collected his 14th multi-RBI contest and tied his season and career-highs with four RBI…Proctor has a six-game hit streak…Hollis extended his hitting streak to six games…He also collected his eight multi-hit game and his third multi-RBI contest…Santiago had his third multi-RBI game and tied his season and career-high with three RBI…Aranda recorded his first multi-hit affair…Strong went 7.0 innings for the fifth time this season…His eight strikeouts tied a season and career-high (also April 16 vs. Lake County)…Bowling Green scored 12 runs, their most since plating 17 runs on May 15 vs. South Bend…BG has scored double-digit runs on nine occasions this season, winning eight of those contests…The Hot Rods are 28-14 at home…They're 41-24 against right-handed starters in 2019…Bowling Green is 18-9 in series openers this season…BG is 37-7 when they out-hit their opponents…Bowling Green is also 36-14 when scoring first…The Hot Rods will play the middle game of the series tomorrow afternoon against the West Michigan Whitecaps, with a 2:05 p.m. first pitch…RHP Easton McGee (6-2, 3.63) will start for Bowling Green, while the Whitecaps will send RHP Hugh Smith (0-4, 4.55)…It will be another Signature Sunday at the ballpark, featuring postgame autographs on the field…Also, the first 250 fans will receive a Chris Betts jumbo baseball card…Tomorrow also is also $15 All You Can Eat Day…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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