The Bowling Green Hot Rods broke a 2-2 tie with three runs in the bottom of the seventh to defeat the Fort Wayne TinCaps 5-2, snapping a three-game losing streak on Friday night at Bowling Green Ballpark. The Hot Rods improved to 4-5 in taking the opening game of the three-game series and will play the second game of the set on Saturday with a 6:35 PM first pitch.
Ft. Wayne struck first, as Michael Plassmeyer ran into trouble in the second, clipping Dwanya Williams-Sutton with a pitch to begin the inning. Blake Hunt followed with an RBI double to left to give Fort Wayne a 1-0 lead. Plassmeyer got out of the inning thanks to a line-drive double play to limit the damage. The TinCaps doubled that lead an inning later as Lee Solomon deposited the first pitch of the inning over the left field wall for a solo home run, making it a 2-0 TinCaps lead.
The Hot Rods immediately responded against TinCaps starter Joey Cantillo, as Jake Palomaki drew a walk with one out in the bottom of the third, then Gregorio muscled up on a 0-2 pitch and deposited it over the right field wall to tie the game at two apiece, his second home run of the season. Plassmeyer settled down and finished his outing with a pair of scoreless innings, retiring the final five batters he faced.
The winning rally began with Osmy Gregorio lining a one-out double to right, then stealing third with two outs. He scampered home with the go-ahead run as ball four to Grant Witherspoon was also a wild pitch, giving the Hot Rods a 3-2 lead. Kaleo Johnson then worked a full count and provided the Hot Rods with some useful insurance by rifling a two-run double to left-center field, plating Chris Betts and Witherspoon to extend the margin to 5-2 in a Hot Rods victory.
Plassmeyer worked 5.0 innings, allowing two runs on four hits, while striking out four and walking a pair. Justin Marsden (1-0) came out of the bullpen to throw 3.0 hitless innings in his season debut, striking out a pair in earning his first win of the season. Cristofer Ogando tossed a perfect ninth inning with two strikeouts to nail down his second save of the season.
Notes: Gregorio had his second multi-RBI game of the season… Johnson had his first… The Hot Rods move to 3-0 in series openers this season… They're 1-5 in all other games of a series… The team is 4-1 when out-hitting their opponent… Bowling Green defeated a left-handed starter for the first time this year… Friday was the second time this year the Hot Rods won a game that their opponent scored first in… Bowling Green set a season-high with five stolen bases, the most since April 21, 2018 vs. Lake County which was also five…Osmy Gregorio recorded his third multi-hit game of the season…Gregorio recorded a home run and double, the third time in his career he has recorded multiple extra-base hits… Roberto Alvarez started at catcher for the second consecutive night, becoming the first Hot Rod to start back-to-back games behind the plate this season… The Hot Rods are back at Bowling Green Ballpark tomorrow night for a 6:35 first pitch in the middle game against Ft. Wayne…Saturday will be Star Wars Night, with the Hot Rods wearing specialty Star Wars-inspired uniforms and the first 500 fans receiving a Star Wars Pez dispenser… It's another Funtastic Saturday at Bowling Green Ballpark, with fantastic giveaways and entertainment… 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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