Appleton, Wisc. – Oscar Hernandez homered in the first inning to give the Bowling Green Hot Rods (Class-A/Tampa Bay Rays) an early lead, and Juniel Querecuto cleared the bases with a triple in the eighth to help seal the 8-2 victory over the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (Milwaukee Brewers) on Thursday night.
Hernandez’s big night began in the top of the first inning. Kean Wong recorded the first hit of the game with a one-out single in the first, and Hernandez then blasted his sixth home run of the season to the trees beyond the left-field fence.
The Hot Rods doubled their lead in the fifth. Alexander Simon led off with a double off the left-center field wall, and would come around to score on Querecuto’s single up the middle. Querecuto scored when Hernandez reached on a fielder’s choice, and Bowling Green’s lead expanded to 4-0.
Wisconsin would not fall quietly, and they cut the lead in half in the sixth. With Chris McFarland at first base, Clint Coulter hit a home run to left-center field to trim the deficit to 4-2.
The game was put out of reach by Bowling Green in the eighth inning. Spencer Edwards started the rally with a single, and Julian Ridings followed with a hit of his own. After Simon bunted them both up a base,
Sean Smedley drew a walk to load the bases. Querecuto then capped his big night with a triple into right-center field that cleared the bases. The game’s scoring was completed when Hernandez smashed a single through the left side to drive home Querecuto.
Hernandez and Querecuto drove in all eight runs, and each finished with a pair of hits and four runs driven in. Querecuto clubbed his first triple, and the first-inning homer was Hernandez’s first away from home, but his sixth overall.
Chris Kirsch (5-6) tossed five shutout innings to lower his earned run average to 2.89. The Bowling Green starter earned his second consecutive victory, and his fifth on the season.
Preston Gainey (2-6) allowed four runs on nine hits and took the loss for Wisconsin.
The Hot Rods will go for the series win against the Timber Rattlers on Friday night in Wisconsin. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. CT, and the Pepsi Pre-Game Show begins at 6:50 p.m. CT on the radio home of the Hot Rods, 1340 WBGN – The Ticket. The Hot Rods return to town on Wednesday, July 23. For tickets and more information, fans can visit BGHotRods.com, call 270-901-2121, or visit the Bowling Green Ballpark box office.