Bowling Green, Ky. - For the first time this season, the Bowling Green Hot Rods (8-7) completed a three-game sweep, besting the Dayton Dragons (6-9) by a 3-1 final in front of 3,138 at Bowling Green Ballpark Thursday night.
By winning its fourth straight game, the Hot Rods have their longest winning streak since Aug. 2014 and are over .500 for the first time since April 2014, when the team started 2-1. After winning five of six, Dayton has now dropped five straight, its longest losing skid since July 2014.
Bowling Green got the ball rolling in the fourth inning, when the first three batters of the frame reached on Grant Kay's hustle double into shallow centerfield, who then advanced to third on a wild pitch. Justin Williams' infield single put runners at the corners, and Nick Ciuffo followed with a RBI single to give the Hot Rods a 1-0 lead. Bowling Green got a second run in the inning, when Williams scored on Coty Blanchard's double play groundout.
Dayton got one run back in the top of the fifth of Hyrum Formo, when Narciso Crook hit a two-out single and took second on a fielding error. Ty Washington dropped a double down the left field line to score Crook and cut the deficit to 2-1 for its first - and only - run of the series and end the Hot Rods scoreless pitching streak at 21.2 innings.
In the bottom half of the fifth, the Hot Rods added an insurance run in, when Thomas Milone walked with one out, was safe at second on a potential inning-ending double play grounder and came plateward on a two-out RBI single from Jace Conrad and a 3-1 cushion.
Crook's run was all the Hot Rods pitching staff surrendered, as Formo (1-0) earned his first Hot Rods victory, tossing 5.0 innings of five-hit, one-run ball with a season-high four strikeouts. Edgar Gomez contributed 2.0 scoreless innings of relief, while Kyle Bird equaled that in part by picking off Aristides Aquino at first, who led off the ninth with a single, and fanning the final two batters to earn his second save. All told, Hot Rods pitching struck out eight without allowing a free pass.
Over the last four games, Bowling Green starters are 4-0 with a 0.78 ERA, having allowed just two earned runs over 23 innings. The Hot Rods bullpen has also not given up a run in the last 14 innings of work.
Dayton right-hander Tejay Antone (0-2) took the loss, permitting three runs on six hits over 5.0 innings on the bump.
Ciuffo registered his first multi-hit game since April 11, going 2-for-4 with a double and a RBI.
The Hot Rods now get set to welcome the Lansing Lugnuts (Toronto Blue Jays) for a three-game weekend series that will begin on Friday, when Hot Rods right-hander Henry Centeno (0-0, 1.64) takes the bump against Lansing right-hander Sean Reid-Foley (0-0, 0.00) in a 7:05 p.m. CDT start at Bowling Green Ballpark.
Hot Rods Baseball - It's Just #Funner
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