BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - Andy Ravel and Tayler Saucedo combined on a three-hit shutout, helping the Lansing Lugnuts (5-2) split a doubleheader with the Bowling Green Hot Rods (4-3), winning 4-0 before falling 5-3 on Wednesday at Bowling Green Ballpark.
The brief three-game road trip ends with the Lugnuts atop the Eastern Division and tied with the Kane County Cougars for the best record in the Midwest League.
In Game 1, Ravel (Win, 1-0) impressed in his MWL debut. The right-hander, drafted in the 7th round by the Blue Jays in 2016, struck out four batters in five innings, allowing only three hits. On each occasion the Hot Rods base runner was thrown out, with Eleardo Cabrera caught stealing in the second inning, Lucius Fox picked off first base in the third, and Cabrera tagged out attempting to move up on a ball in the dirt in the fifth.
Saucedo followed with two dominant innings, striking out five of six batters faced, to lock down the Lugnuts' second shutout of the year.
The offense was supplied in part by Bo Bichette, delivering an RBI double in the first inning against Bowling Green starter Kenny Rosenberg (Loss, 1-1), and adding a run-scoring walk amid a three-run fifth inning. In the losing cause, Rosenberg struck out seven straight Lugnuts at one point and finished with eight strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings.
In Game 2, Vladimir Guerrero, Jr., homered off the Bowling Green Ballpark scoreboard as the Lugnuts came back from 2-0 and 3-2 deficits - only to see Lucius Fox break a 3-3 tie with a two-out RBI double in the bottom of the sixth.
Miles Mastrobuoni followed with an RBI single for insurance.
Starter Justin Maese (Loss, 1-1) pitched all six innings in defeat, allowing nine hits and five runs (four earned), with one walk and two strikeouts.
6-foot-7 Bowling Green starter J.D. Busfield (Win, 1-0) countered with six innings of eight-hit, three-run baseball, walking none and striking out seven. Two of the Lugnuts' runs were unearned due to errors committed by Fox.
Both Guerrero, who notched his second home run, and J.B. Woodman went 2-for-3 in the loss, with Bichette and Christian Williams adding RBIs.
The Lugnuts now return home, opening up a three-game series with Lake County on a Labatt Thirsty Thursday featuring $2 beers/sodas and half-off craft beers. First pitch is 7:05 p.m., pitting Nuts right-hander Patrick Murphy, the Blue Jays' No. 17 prospect, against Captains right-hander Brady Aiken, the Indians' No. 5 prospect. To purchase tickets, call (517) 485-4500 or visit lansinglugnuts.com.
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.