Bowling Green, Ky. - Bowling Green (9-7) erased a 5-0 deficit after an inning and a half, scoring four runs on bases-loaded walks - including two in a decisive four-run seventh-inning rally - in a 6-5 win over Lansing (11-5) in front of 3,076 fans at Bowling Green Ballpark Friday night.
The Hot Rods extended their season-best winning streak to five games, their longest since winning six straight last May, and improved to 6-1 on the homestand.
A 5-2 Lansing lead in that seventh frame slowly evaporated once Bowling Green native and former Warren East High School pitcher Mark Biggs (1-2) entered the fray, allowing the first six batters he faced to reach safely. Coty Blanchard's bases-loaded single brought in a pair to cut the score to 5-4, and after Nick Ciuffo singled on the first pitch he saw, the bags were again full. Biggs lost command against the next two hitters, issuing bases-loaded free passes to Bralin Jackson to tie the game 5-5 and then to Mac James to give the Hot Rods their first lead at 6-5.
Edwin Fierro (2-1) clamped down on the Lugnuts over the final 3.0 innings, allowing just one hit with one strikeout in earning his second win of the homestand. The Mexican right-hander increased Bowling Green's bullpen scoreless streak to 21 consecutive innings.
Lansing scored the first five runs of the contest, plating a single run in the top of the first on a RBI single from Rowdy Tellez. The Lugnuts threatened to score more when they loaded the bases with one out, but Henry Centeno was able to induce a strikeout and flyout to bring the threat to an end.
But, the Lugnuts tallied four more runs in the second inning after the first five runners of the inning reached safely, with four of those runners scoring. Michael De La Cruz doubled and Tim Locastro singled to set the table for Alford, who brought De La Cruz home on a two-bagger. Richard Urena followed with a bouncing ball to first to Casey Gillaspie, who opted to go home to try to get the force out, but Ciuffo's tag on Locastro was deemed late for a 4-0 score. Urena then came home on Rowdy Tellez's second RBI single in as many inning to give Lansing a 5-0 lead.
Centeno lasted just 2.0 innings, permitting all five Lugnut runs on eight hits in his third straight no-decision.
Bowling Green started its piecemeal rally in the bottom half of the second inning, as Ciuffo led off the inning off with a walk, and Jackson singled him to second. The pair was brought home by a pair of bases loaded walks from Lansing starter Sean Reid-Foley, one to Thomas Milone and the other to Jace Conrad, making for a 5-2 Lansing lead.
Reid-Foley, the 10th best prospect in the Blue Jays system according to Baseball America, showed electric stuff but worked a season-low 1.2 innings due to a season-high four walks, while giving up two runs on three hits with three strikeouts.
From the third through the seventh inning, the game was sans runs, as Lansing reliever Justin Shafer tossed 4.2 innings of four-hit, one-run ball, while Bowling Green relied on the right arm of Hunter Wood, who allowed just one hit in his 4.0 full innings of work while also striking out a season-high tying seven. In four outings this season, Wood has a 0.60 ERA and has held opponents to a .043 clip (2-for-46).
Riley Unroe led the BG offense with his second three-hit game of the homestand, going 3-for-5 with a double and a run scored, while Ciuffo and Blanchard had two hits each to pace the Hot Rods 11-hit attack. This homestand, Blanchard is hitting .380 (8-for-21) with all six of his RBI this season.
Saturday's tilt sees the Hot Rods looking for the series victory against Lansing, when Chris Pike (1.0, 4.00) takes the bump against Lugnuts righty Chase De Jong (1-1, 1.84) for a 6:05 p.m. CDT start time.
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