After a suspended game and being shutout in their two prior contests with the Lake County Captains, the Bowling Green Hot Rods returned the favor and blanked Lansing 6-0 in game one of their weekend set at Cooley Law School Stadium on Thursday in Lansing, Mich.
Scoreless in their previous 19 innings coming into the game, the Hot Rods bucked that trend in the first inning against Lugnuts starter Osman Guiterrez (0-3). With runners on first and third and one out, first basemen Nathaniel Lowe lifted a sacrifice fly to score outfielder Jesus Sanchez and put the Hot Rods up 1-0.
One inning later, Bowling Green put up a four-spot with Guiterrez being chased from the game mid-inning with an undisclosed injury. Catcher Rene Pinto started things off with a RBI double to score Josh Lowe and put Bowling Green up 2-0.
After a sacrifice fly by second basemen Miles Mastrobuoni put Bowling Green up by three, Sanchez put the exclamation point on the Hot Rods victory with a two-run blast off of reliever Denis Diaz to make the score 5-0.
Sanchez, the Rays No. 7 prospect per MLB Pipeline, finished the night 2-for-4 at the plate with that homer, two runs batted in and three runs scored.
That early offense was plenty for the Hot Rods pitching staff who, led by starter Brock Burke (2-0), combined for their second shutout of the season.
Six days after no-hitting and shutting out Fort Wayne through six frames, Burke tossed five more scoreless frames against Lansing. He gave up six hits while striking out four batters without walking anyone.
For Burke, he has not given up a run since the first inning of his first start of the season, a scoreless streak currently spanning 13 1/3 innings. He has now given up just one run in 14 innings pitched this season.
To secure the win for the Hot Rods and Burke, righty Brian McAfee tossed three scoreless innings while Deivy Mendez got out of a bases-loaded jam with no one out in the ninth to finish off the shutout.
It was the Hot Rods second shutout in the last six games.
The Hot Rods will continue with the second leg of a seven-game road trip against the Lansing Lugnuts at 6:05 p.m. CDT Friday.