Fort Wayne, IN – Reinaldo Lopez spun five shutout innings and Luke Maile drove in two runs to lead the Bowling Green Hot Rods (24-12) to a 3-2 series-opening win over the Fort Wayne TinCaps (22-14). Justin O’Conner also added an RBI single as the Hot Rods extend their winning streak to three games and tie a season-high mark of twelve games over five hundred.
The Hot Rods led 3-0 but witnessed the TinCaps rally late to bring the game to within one run. Ryan Garton earned his fourth save as he induced a lineout to second base to end the game with the winning run on first base.
The first third of the game saw both starters, Lopez for Bowling Green and Fort Wayne’s Joe Ross, cruise in a 0-0 pitcher’s duel. To begin the top of the fourth, the Bowling Green offense used three straight singles to score the game’s first run when Maile drove home Joey Rickard.
Andrew Toles later made an outstanding defensive play in the bottom of the fifth to prevent two TinCap runs from scoring. The very next half inning, the Hot Rods added to their lead when Maile doubled home Toles and O’Conner singled home Maile. The Hot Rods held the shutout until the bottom of the seventh when Gabriel Quintana hit a solo home run off reliever Jose Molina.
Fort Wayne looked poised to tie the score in both the eighth and ninth innings but could not drive in the elusive game-tying run. In the eighth, Garton worked a 6-4-3 double play to start his escape from a bases-loaded, no-out situation. Then in the ninth, the righty managed to work around the TinCap two-out rally that brought the winning run to first base.