(Bowling Green) – Kyeong Kang hit a three-run homer in the first and Mike Sheridan smacked a two-run bomb in the third to lead the Hot Rods to a 6-1 triumph over the Greenville Drive at Bowling Green Ballpark. The win is the Hot Rods fourth in a row following their weekend sweep of the Asheville Drive. They remain five games behind the first-place Charleston RiverDogs, who won their fourth straight by beating Rome 6-3.
The Hot Rods wasted little time jumping out to another lead, the fourth time in this winning streak that they’ve score in the first inning. Justin Reynolds and SAL All-Star Tim Beckham both reached before Jake Jefferies fouled out to first base. With one out clean-up hitter Kyeong Kang hit an 0-2 change-up over the wall in right field for his first homer of the season, a three-run shot to give the Hot Rods a 3-0 lead. Kang’s first homer is his 12th extra-base hit to go along with eight doubles and three triples. He also picked up his 11th, 12th, and 13th RBI on the swing.
Two innings later, the Hot Rods racked up another three-run inning. With one out, Tim Beckham walked, stole second, and then scored on a single to left-center field by Jefferies, pushing the lead to 4-0 on Jefferies’ 31st RBI. Two batters later Mike Sheridan delivered his team-leading seventh homer, a laser into the Greenville bullpen that sent relievers scatting as the Hot Rods built a 6-1 lead. The Hot Rods have now scored three runs in five of their last 17 innings, going back to Sunday’s win over Asheville.
The early lead made it an easy night for starter Chris Andujar. On the day he was named a South Atlantic League All-Star with Tim Beckham, Andujar put together his best start of the season, throwing six innings of one-run, one-hit ball. The lone hit was a one-out solo homer in the second by Greenville’s Kade Keowen. Andujar (7-2) would strikeout four while walking three to win his seventh game of the season, moving him into a tie for the league-lead with Rome’s Zeke Spruill and Lakewood’s Jon Velasquez.
The Hot Rods bullpen shut down the Drive over the final three innings, as Tyree Hayes (2 IP) and Marques Fleming (1 IP) combined for three shutout innings to keep the one-hitter intact.
The Hot Rods and Drive continue the series with the middle game on Tuesday night at Bowling Green Ballpark. LHP Frank De Los Santos (3-4, 4.07) gets the ball for the Hot Rods against Greenville’s Hunter Strickland (2-4, 2-4, 3.23). First pitch is at 7:05 PM CDT. You can follow the action with Tom Gauthier on 1340 WBGN and www.bghotrods.com beginning at 6:50 PM CDT.
Tuesday is Faith & Family Night presented by Christian Family Radio. Before the game, fans will be treated to a special pre-game acoustic concert by Lanae’ Hale. Then, groups in attendance will meet with Hot Rods players Justin Reynolds and Jamie Bagley, who will discuss the important role their faith plays in their everyday life, both on and off the field. For tickets, visit www.bghotrods.com or the Hot Rods ticket office at Bowling Green Ballpark.