South Bend, Ind. – Facing a sweep, the South Bend Silver Hawks (Class-A/Arizona Diamondbacks) finally found a way to quiet the Bowling Green Hot Rods (Tampa Bay Rays) lineup, as they salvaged the finale of the series with a 3-0 victory. The Hot Rods still own the series advantage 10-4, and they outscored South Bend 21-5 despite the finale shutout.
South Bend took an early lead with a run in the first inning. With one out, Breland Almadova walked and advanced to third base when a pick-off throw from German Marquez went up the first-base line. Daniel Palka followed by hitting a ball off the wall in center field, it nearly went out, but his double plated Almadova and gave the Silver Hawks the lead.
Sean Furney (2-1) kept Hot Rods hitters off balance all day, and he faced just two batters above the minimum in seven innings. He conceded just two outs, and struck out five batters without issuing a free pass.
The Hot Rods put the tying run aboard in the sixth and eighth innings, but each time they were unable to push across a run. Their best chance came in the eighth when Ariel Soriano doubled to start the inning, but he was left at second.
The Silver Hawks added two more runs in the eighth to make their lead more comfortable. Andrew Velazquez started the rally with a chop-bunt single up the first-base line. A fielding error by Ty Young followed, and Almadova reached on the play and Velazquez moved to third base. Palka then drove in his second run with a sacrifice fly to left field. Later in the inning, Jamie Westbrook hit a grounder to Young and an error on the play allowed Almadova to score. The rally gave the game its final margin of 3-0 in favor of South Bend.
Marquez (2-3) worked out of trouble throughout his four innings to hold South Bend to one run in the start. He walked two and struck out four. Colton Reavis came out of the bullpen and was spectacular, he struck out six batters in three innings. Stone Speer pitched the eighth and conceded two unearned runs on just one hit.
The Hot Rods will take the day off on Tuesday, and they’ll open up a six-game homestand at Bowling Green Ballpark beginning on Wednesday. Thanks to Meijer, half-price tickets will be available to all fans for Wednesday’s game. Gates will open at 6 p.m., and the first pitch will be tossed at 7:05 p.m. The Dayton Dragons (Cincinnati Reds) will be in town for the first three games of the homestand, and the Fort Wayne TinCaps (San Diego Padres) will follow.