South Bend, IN- The Bowling Green Hot Rods fell 4-1 in the final game of a three-game series, getting swept by the South Bend Cubs to close out a seven-game road trip at Four Winds Field on Thursday night. The Hot Rods fall to 34-26 and begin the final home stand of the first-half against the West Michigan White Caps with a 6:35 PM first pitch at Bowling Green Ballpark.
The Hot Rods took the first lead of the game against Cubs starter Riley Thompson, despite being held hitless until the fourth inning. Wander Franco led off with a single to right and went to second on Kaleo Johnson's single. Chris Betts walked to load the bases and Grant Witherspoon grounded into a fielder's choice that put out Betts at second but scored Franco to give Bowling Green a 1-0 edge.
South Bend tied the game against Hot Rods All-Star starter Alan Strong in the fifth. With one out, Brennan Davis reached on an error at third and went to third when Chris Morel singled to right. Eric Gonzalez grounded out to third, plating Davis to tie the game at 1-1.
The Cubs took the lead on a pair of homers in the seventh in Strong's final inning of work. With one out, Tyler Durna hit a solo-shot to right, giving the Cubs a 2-1 lead while Morel hit one to left, his third of the year, to make it a 3-1 deficit for Bowling Green. South Bend added another run in the eighth to make it a 4-1 game, and despite getting a baserunner to third in the ninth, the Hot Rods were unable to close the gap, falling 4-1 in the series finale.
Strong (4-2) took the loss after allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits with a strikeout over seven innings. Cristofer Ogando threw one inning, allowing one unearned run on one hit with a walk out of the bullpen.
Notes: Strong tied his career-high with seven innings pitched… It's the third time he's thrown seven innings… All three occasions have happened in 2019… Alvarez picked off his third baserunner of the season at first base… The Hot Rods are 3-19 when outhit by their opponents… They're 20-11 when scoring first as well… Bowling Green is 23-23 in night games… The Hot Rods are 5-6 on Thursdays this season and 4-3 on the road on Thursdays… They're also 5-5 in the road gray uniforms… Thursday marks the first time BG has been swept in a three-game series on the road since June 25-27, 2018 in Fort Wayne against the TinCaps… The Hot Rods return to Bowling Green Ballpark to begin the final home stand of the first-half… The West Michigan White Caps and Hot Rods start with a four-game series on Friday with a 6:35 PM first pitch… It's Hot Rods Hall of Fame Night at the ballpark… Blake Snell will become the third former player inducted into the Hot Rods Hall of Fame… The first 999 fans in attendance will receive a Snellzilla bobblehead, courtesy of Reinhart Foodservice… It's also a Fireworks Friday at Bowling Green Ballpark presented by Norton Children's Hospital… The Fireworks display will follow the conclusion of Friday night's contest… 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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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.