(Bowling Green, KY) - Isaias Velasquez picked up two more doubles on Tuesday night, moving him into the team-lead lead with 23, but the Hot Rods couldn't hold a late lead, losing to the Lake County Captains 5-4 at Bowling Green Ballpark. The loss drops the Hot Rods to 17-14 in the second half, leaving them in fourth place in the Division after a win by Savannah and postponements of Asheville and Augusta.
The winning rally began in the top of the ninth with the Hot Rods holding a 4-2 lead thanks to an RBI triple from Jason Tweedy the previous inning. Facing Marquis Fleming (1-6), John Allman began the rally with a one-out walk. He advanced to second on a ground ball in front of home plate for the second out of the inning. With two down, pinch-hitter Karexon Sanchez hit a wall-ball double to left field to plate Allman to make it a one-run game at 4-3. The very next batter, Mark Thompson, then put the Captains into the lead for the first time in the game with a home run into the grass berm for a 5-4 Captains edge.
For Fleming, the loss was his sixth of the season and his third in the last two weeks. He has now blown his last three save chances as well, watching his ERA rise from 1.15 to 2.45. Bowling Green is now 39-4 when they lead after the eighth inning.
The blown save took away a win from Frank De Los Santos, who threw five shutout innings on just two hits. The lefty capped off a terrific month of July with a 1-0 record and an ERA of 2.36. He managed just one win against five no-decisions.
The Hot Rods managed to score first in the game against Lake County starter T.J. House (ND). With one down in the first inning, Isaias Velasquez double to right field before Jake Jefferies drew a walk to put runners at first and second. That's when Mike Sheridan laced a single into left-center field to score Velasquez for the first run of the game. Jefferies would up at third on the single but would score on the very next pitch thanks to a double to left field by Jason Corder, giving the Hot Rods a 2-0 lead.
While the Hot Rods wouldn't score again that inning, they did add another run in the second. Again with one out Robi Estrada doubled to left field to extend his hitting streak to four games. He came around to score when Velasquez roped a double to the wall in right-center to give the Hot Rods a 3-0 lead. The double was Velasquez's second of the game and tied him with Tim Beckham for the team lead with 23. He also earned Koch Air Hottest Hitter of the Game honors, going 2-5 with an RBI and a run scored.
The series comes to an end on Wednesday afternoon at Bowling Green Ballpark. RHP Nick Barnese (4-4, 2.40) faces Lake County's RHP Danny Salazar (3-3, 4.48) in the team's fourth and final meeting of 2009. First pitch is at a special start time of 12:05 PM. Gates open at 5:30 PM for season ticket holders and 4 PM for the general public. 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 11:50 AM CDT.