Eastlake, Ohio – Oscar Hernandez doubled three times and drove in four runs to help lead the Bowling Green Hot Rods (Class-A/Tampa Bay Rays) to an 8-5 win over the Lake County Captains (Cleveland Indians) on Thursday night. The win gave Bowling Green the series victory over the second half leaders in the Midwest League’s Eastern Division.
The scoring started early as Bowling Green went in front in the first inning. Spencer Edwards led off with a single up the middle, moved up to second on a hit by Kean Wong, and would later score on a sacrifice fly by Hernandez.
Johnny Field hadn’t homered since May 9 in Lake County, but he changed that with one swing in the third inning. He powered a fastball for his fifth home run of the season to the right-center field lawn to double the Hot Rods lead to 2-0.
The Hot Rods stretched their advantage even further with a three-run fifth inning. Edwards started the rally once again as he led off with a triple into the right-field corner. Wong would single through the left side of a drawn-in infield to drive him home. Following an infield single by Field, Hernandez doubled down the left-field line to drive home both Wong and Field. The lead expanded to 5-0.
Claudio Bautista put the Captains on the board when he led off the bottom of the sixth inning with a home run, but Bowling Green would answer quickly. Hernandez led off the top of the seventh with his second double, and he came around to score when Ty Young singled up the middle. Young would later be plated on a passed ball, and the Hot Rods lead swelled to 7-1.
In the bottom of the eighth, a three-run triple by Paul Hendrix brought Lake County back to within three runs, but the Hot Rods offense would not relent. Field led off the top of the ninth with a single up the middle, and he would score when Hernandez doubled yet again, this time to center field. That proved to be the final run that crossed the plate in Bowling Green’s 8-4 win.
Bruedlin Suero set new career-highs in innings pitched (seven and two-thirds) and strikeouts (eight), and he received the win. Luis Cabrera recorded the final four outs to earn his first save.
Jordan Milbrath (2-9) allowed five runs on 11 hits before being removed in the sixth inning. The Captains starter took the loss, but the bullpen also conceded three runs.
The Hot Rods now return home on Friday to open a 10-game homestand, beginning with a July 4 celebration that is highlighted by a double-fireworks show following Friday’s game. Gates open at 6 p.m. CT for a 7:05 p.m. CT first pitch. The Hot Rods will sport special jerseys that will be auctioned off to benefit The Fisher House. For tickets and more information, fans can visit BGHotRods.com, call 270-901-2121, or visit the Bowling Green Ballpark box office.