Easton McGee struck out seven over 6.0 innings of two-run ball and the offense came through with a pair of two-run innings, leading a 5-2 victory over the Great Lakes Loons in the series opener on Tuesday night. The Hot Rods improved to 42-33, 3-2 in the second half, with the win, which precedes Wednesday night's 6:35 p.m. first pitch at Bowling Green Ballpark.
After three quiet innings to start the game, Great Lakes struck first off McGee in the top of the fourth. Jacob Amaya doubled with one out, then moved to third on an infield single by Dillon Paulson. Luke Heyer brought home Amaya with a groundout, which was followed by an RBI double from James Outman, giving Great Lakes a 2-0 lead.
In the bottom of the fourth, though, the Hot Rods cut the deficit in half with a two-out rally against Loons starter Jose Chacin. Grant Witherspoon lined a hustle double to right-center, then scored on an RBI single from Chris Betts.
An inning later, the Hot Rods took the lead against Chacin. Tony Pena led off with a double to right, then scored when Beau Brundage tripled down the right-field line. Two batters later, Ford Proctor brought home Brundage with a sacrifice fly, putting the Hot Rods in front by a 3-2 score.
In the seventh, the Hot Rods added on to the advantage against the Great Lakes bullpen. With Jasiel Alvino on the mound, Proctor drew a leadoff walk, then advanced to third on a hit-and-run single by Seaver Whalen. Witherspoon followed with a single to right-center, scoring Proctor and moving Whalen to third. Betts followed with a sac fly to extend the lead to 5-2.
Cristopher Sanchez did the rest, throwing 3.0 hitless innings while allowing just one baserunner, earning a nine-out save to nail down a 5-2 victory.
McGee (5-2) went 6.0 innings, allowing two runs on six hits, while striking one seven and walking just one in earning his fifth win. Sanchez went the final three frames, allowing no runs, hits, or walks, while hitting one batter and striking out four, earning his second save.
Notes: Pena recorded his fourth outfield assist of the season, the 18th of the season for the Hot Rods…It's BG's second OF assist in the past three games…Pena also recorded his 10th multi-hit game of the season…Betts picked up his 12th multi-RBI game of the season…Proctor's hitting streak ended at six games…Witherspoon had his 18th multi-hit game of the year and his second in a row…McGee recorded seven strikeouts, the second-highest total of the season and his career (behind eight strikeouts on May 6 vs. Burlington)…He also recorded his third quality start of the season, his first since May 6…Bowling Green improved to 23-13 at home…BG is now 35-22 against right-handed starters…Bowling Green is 14-9 in series openers…BG is 33-7 when out-hitting the opposition…The Hot Rods will play the second game of a four-game series against Great Lakes, with a 6:35 p.m. first pitch on Wednesday night…RHP Caleb Sampen (4-3, 3.49) will start for Bowling Green opposite Great Lakes LHP John Rooney (3-1, 2.53)…Wednesday will be another Wacky Wednesday, featuring free carousel rides, speed pitch, and homer hole, along with other wacky fun…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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