(Bowling Green, KY) – After spending nearly two weeks on the disabled list, RHP Shane Dyer (1-3) earned his first win of the 2009 season, pitching five strong innings to lead the Hot Rods (25-26) to a 5-3 win over Lexington on Tuesday night at Bowling Green Ballpark. The victory is the Hot Rods second straight and moves them into a tie with Savannah for 5th place in the South Atlantic League Southern Division, 4.0 games behind first place Charleston and Rome.
Dyer was very sharp, pitching his first game since he left in the sixth inning of a start at Savannah on May 22. The right-hander allowed just four hits, did not issue a walk and needed only one strikeout to get through five innings. Most impressively, Dyer recorded 10 of his 15 outs via ground ball outs, including four grounders right back to the mound. The victory is Dyer’s first of the season after an 0-3 start, lowering his ERA to 3.74 and earning him Koch Air Coolest Pitcher of the Game honors.
Dyer had some early breathing room as the Hot Rods scored a pair of runs in the second inning. With the bases loaded and one out, Isaias Velasquez hit a slow-roller to shortstop Ronald Ramirez. Ramirez got the lead-runner at second base, allowing Kyeong Kang to score from third, but the relay throw to first to complete the double play sailed to the Lexington dugout, which permitted Henry Wrigley to come across home plate for an unearned run.
Three innings later Bowling Green would add another pair of runs in the last of the fifth. With one out, Robi Estrada hit a bouncing ball right back to Lexington starter Robert Bono (5-2). Looking like an easy put-out, Bono dropped the ball as he was throwing to first base allowing Estrada to reach. Bono would pay for the mistake as Anthony Scelfo delivered the second of his three hits, a run-scoring triple to deep left-center field to give the Hot Rods a 3-1 lead. Scelfo would then score himself on an RBI ground out from Tim Beckham, who picked up his team-leading 28th RBI on the play.
Bowling Green’s final run came across in the seventh when Scelfo, the Koch Air Hottest Hitter, laid down a perfect bunt on a squeeze play, scoring Velasquez to make it 5-1. The bunt was so good, in fact, that Scelfo reached first base to earn his third three-hit game of the season.
Once Dyer left the game, the Hot Rods got two scoreless innings from Neil Schenk, who allowed just one hit while striking out four. Jamie Bagley came in next and allowed a run in the eighth and a run in the ninth before leaving in a 5-3 game with runners at second and third base. Josh Satow, however, would bail the Hot Rods out by striking out left fielder Eric Suttle for his fourth save of the season.
The series continues on Wednesday night with the middle game of the three-game set. The Hot Rods will have LHP Frank De Los Santos (3-3, 3.38) looking for his fourth win of the season. He’ll face Lexington RHP Kyle Greenwalt (2-5, 2.98). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM CDT.