(Bowling Green, KY) - Jeremy Beckham hit his first professional home run and Robi Estrada drove in three runs to lead the Hot Rods to an 8-4 win over the Greenville Drive on Monday night. Beckham and Estrada powered a 14-hit attack, batting in the eighth and ninth spots in the order respectively. The win leaves the Hot Rods 3.5 games behind Asheville heading into the series finale on Tuesday night.
The Hot Rods took control of this game trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the second inning. Against Fabian Williamson (8-4) the Mike Sheridan and Isaias Velasquez had base hits to lead off the inning and then came around to scored on a two-run double by No. 6 hitter Jason Corder. After a walk by Justin Reynolds and a sac bunt by Jeremy Beckha, Corder scored on the first of three RBI from Estrada, who grounded out to shortstop to make it 3-1.
In the fifth inning Jeremy Beckham made his presence felt in an even bigger way, hammering his first professional home run onto Kentucky Street to give the Hot Rods a 4-1 lead. In honor of his first pro homer, Beckham was named the Koch Air Hottest Hitter of the Game.
After Greenville cut the deficit to 4-2 in the sixth, the Hot Rods came back for another run in their half of the seventh. Beckham led off with a double to left-center, advanced to third on a passed ball, and then scored on an RBI single by Estrada to make it 5-2.
Greenville once again came back to grab to in the top of the eighth against Jamie Bagley (save; 9) before the Hot Rods put it away in the bottom of the inning. Facing Chad Povich, Velasquez singled to left before coming all the way around to score on another double by Corder. After Reynolds singled and Beckham flew out to shallow right field, Estrada picked up his third RBI on a safety squeeze bunt, scoring Corder for the second run of the inning. Reynolds also advanced on the bunt before he scored on Anthony Scelfo's RBI single to cap the scoring at 8-4.
In addition to Beckham (2-3, HR, 2 runs) and Estrada (1-3, 3 RBI), Corder had two doubles and three RBI, picking up his first multi-hit game of 2009. In fact, all nine Hot Rods players had at least one hit, including Jake Jefferies and Mike Sheridan who picked up two each. Jefferies' base hits extended his hitting streak to a season-high 10 games.
Echeverria earned his first win since May 16 by working three innings and allowing one run on three hits. He came on after four strong innings from Juan Santana, making his first start since 2007 in the Dominican Summer League. Santana took a no-decision by allowing one run through four innings on three strikeouts and two walks. Santana ended his outing by retiring 10 of the final 11 men he faced.
The series now comes to an end on Tuesday night as the Hot Rods send RHP Nick Barnese (5-5, 2.43) to the mound against Greenville RHP Stolmy Pimentel (9-6, 3.25). First pitch is 6:35 PM at Bowling Green Ballpark. Tuesday night is a Kraft Singles Tuesday. If fans bring the outer wrapper from a package of Kraft Singles to the box office, they receive a buy-one, get-one ticket offer good for Tuesday ball games at Bowling Green Ballpark. Gates open at 5 PM for season ticket holders and 5:30 PM for the general public. For tickets, visit www.bghotrods.com or head to the Hot Rods ticket office at the corner of 8th Avenue and Center Street at Bowling Green Ballpark.
You can follow the action with Tom Gauthier on 1340 WBGN and www.bghotrods.com beginning at 6:20 PM CDT.