(Bowling Green, KY) - In a back-and-forth game at Bowling Green Ballpark, the Hot Rods walked off winners thanks to a Robi Estrada bunt single in the ninth inning against the Lake County Captains on Monday night. The 3-2 victory snapped a three-game losing streak for Bowling Green (17-13, 51-49), their longest skid of the second half of the season. They remain one game behind Asheville in third place in the Southern Division standings.
The winning rally started with a one-out walk to Kyeong Kang from relief pitcher Kaimi Mead (2-3) in the bottom of the ninth inning. Jason Tweedy stepped up next, ripping an RBI single to right field to move Kang to third. That's when Estrada laid down a perfect bunt down the first base line to score Tweedy for the game-winning run. The single gave Estrada, the Koch Air Hottest HItter, his second hit of the game, giving him three straight multiple-hit games.
The Hot Rods had taken the lead in the bottom of the seventh after Jamie Bagley stranded the bases loaded in the top half of the inning. After the stretch, Sheridan and Mollicone singled and reached after being hit by a pitch, respectively, to start the 7th. Kyeong Kang reached on a fielder's choice, forcing Sheridan to third while Mollicone was cut down at second base. That's when Jason Tweedy stepped up and laid down a bunt back to the mound. The pitcher, reliever Tyler Turek, threw the ball home but it skipped through the catcher's legs, allowing Sheridan to score and make it a 2-1 Hot Rods lead.
In the top of the eighth, however, the Captains tied it right back up against Josh Satow. With one out lefty Nate Recknagel lifted his 11th home run of the season into the Hot Rods bullpen to tie the game at 2-2. The homer was the first allowed by Satow in his career while he picked up his fourth blown save of the season. He would end up earning his 4th win of the season (4-0) by recording the final five outs of the game.
For just the second time in the home stand, the Hot Rods opened the scoring. In the top of the second, Lake County starter T.J. McFarland walked Mike Sheridan with one out. John Mollicone singled Sheridan to second before Kyeong Kang singled to load the bases. Tweedy stepped in and hit a slow ground ball to second base for a potential double-play. Lake County second baseman Mark Thompson picked up the ball but Kang stopped running, forcing Thompson to throw to first to retire Tweedy. That allowed Sheridan to score before the Captains complete the unorthodox double-play by retiring Kang at second base after the run came in.
Lake County tied the game in their half of the fifth inning against Hot Rods starter Joe Cruz. Adam Abraham hit a one-out double, advanced to third on a fly ball to center field, and then scored on a two-out single by Delvi Cid. The run would be the only blemish on a solid line from Cruz. The right-hander went five strong innings, allowing one run on just four hits. He struck out four and walked just one, throwing 72 pitches in a no-decision.
Lake County's McFarland was as good as Cruz, matching him with five innings of one run ball. The lefty surrendered five hits and one walk while striking out three in his no-decision.
The series continues on Tuesday night at Bowling Green Ballpark. LHP Frank De Los Santos (4-6, 3.77) faces Lake County's LHP T.J. House (2-8, 2.71) in the third game of the series. First pitch is at 7:05 PM. Gates open at 5:30 PM for season ticket holders and 4 PM for the general public.
Tuesday night is Joe Blanton Bobblehead night presented by Bank of Edmonson County. The first 1,000 fans into Bowling Green Ballpark will receive a bobblehead of the Edmonson County native. Fans are encourage to arrive early as supplies are limited. For tickets, visit www.bghotrods.com or head to the Hot Rods ticket office at the corner of 8th Avenue and Center Street at Bowling Green Ballpark. You can also follow the game on the radio with Tom Gauthier at 1340 WBGN and www.bghotrods.com. Pre-game coverage begins at 4:50 PM CDT.