Chris Betts and Kaleo Johnson homered to lead a comeback from three-runs down and the Bowling Green Hot Rods defeated the Great Lakes Loons 6-3 on Tuesday night to move into first place in the division. The Hot Rods' seventh-straight win moved them to 32-20 ahead of Wednesday night's contest,
Chris Betts and Kaleo Johnson homered to lead a comeback from three-runs down and the Bowling Green Hot Rods defeated the Great Lakes Loons 6-3 on Tuesday night to move into first place in the division. The Hot Rods' seventh-straight win moved them to 32-20 ahead of Wednesday night's contest, which will commence with a 6:35 p.m. first pitch.
Great Lakes got off to a fast start against Bowling Green starter Caleb Sampen. Miguel Vargas singled on the first pitch of the game, followed by another first-pitch single from Hunter Feduccia. Niko Hulsizer followed by also putting the first pitch in play, depositing Sampen's delivery over the left-field wall for a three-run homer. Three pitches into the game, the Hot Rods trailed 3-0.
In the bottom of the first, the Hot Rods struck back. After Great Lakes starter Robinson Ortiz set down the first two Hot Rods, Betts launched a solo home run to right, his 11th of the season. His third home run over the last two games made the score 3-1, Great Lakes.
Grant Witherspoon led off with a single in the second off Ortiz and moved to second when Seaver Whalen was plunked. Roberto Alvarez followed with a double to right, scoring Witherspoon and moving Whalen to third. Tony Pena followed with a ground ball to short, scoring Whalen to tie the game at three apiece.
After the third inning, both pitching staffs settled in. Ortiz departed after working around multiple baserunners in both the third and fourth innings. Meanwhile, Sampen also worked around multiple runners in the fifth and sixth, but successfully finished 6.0 innings without allowing any additional runs.
After Trey Cumbie came out of the bullpen to throw a scoreless seventh, Bowling Green broke through against Loons reliever Stephen Kolek to take the lead. Wander Franco sliced a one-out double to left to begin the inning, then scored when Betts lined a double off the right-field wall to score Franco, which gave the Hot Rods the lead. Kaleo Johnson provided a pair of insurance runs by crushing a two-run homer to left, giving Bowling Green the 6-3 edge.
Cumbie returned to the mound and set down the Loons in order in the final two innings, securing the Hot Rods seventh-straight victory, which also moved the Hot Rods into first place in the Midwest League East Division.
Sampen recorded his sixth-straight quality start, allowing three runs in 6.0 innings, while allowing four hits, five walks, and striking out six in a no-decision. Cumbie (2-0) went the final 3.0 innings, retiring all nine hitters he faced with four strikeouts while earning his fourth win.
Notes: Betts had his 12th multi-hit game and ninth multi-RBI contest…Johnson had his 11th multi-hit game and eighth multi-RBI game…Witherspoon had his 14th multi-hit game…Beau Brundage had his hitting streak end at eight games…Pena's hitting streak ended at 11 games…Franco had his 16th multi-hit game and his 11th in his last 14 games…Brundage had his hitting streak end at eight games…Osmy Gregorio batted leadoff for the first time this season… Sampen picked up his team-high sixth quality start, all of which have come in consecutive starts… Sampen issued five walks, the second-highest total of his career (behind six allowed on April 19 at Great Lakes)…Bowling Green starting pitchers have made 18-consecutive starts (since May 12) without taking a loss…The Hot Rods are 10-5 in series openers this season …Bowling Green has 12-from-behind victories, second-most in the Midwest League…The Hot Rods are 17-2 when collecting double-digit hits…BG is 26-6 when out-hitting their opponents…Bowling Green is 18-8 at home…BG is 6-8 against left-handed starters…The Hot Rods will play the middle game against Great Lakes on Wednesday night with a 6:35 p.m. first pitch…LHP Shane McClanahan (4-3, 3.43) will start for the Hot Rods, against Great Lakes RHP Andre Jackson (4-1, 1.91)…It is Wacky Wednesday at Bowling Green Ballpark, featuring free carousel rides, speed pitch, and homer hole, in addition to 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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