Clinton, IA - RHP Jeff Ames pitched personal-best six shutout innings to lead the Bowling Green Hot Rods (20-10) to a 4-2 victory in the rubber match against the Clinton LumberKings (13-15) at Ashford University Field on Monday. Ames now leads the Hot Rods with four victories, a mark that is also tied for the Midwest League lead through Monday afternoon's action. Andrew Toles highlighted four multi-hit efforts by Hot Rod batters with an RBI triple and a double in the series-clinching win.
Ames pitched with a lead for his entire outing after Bowling Green scored two quick runs in the first inning. Tommy Coyle led off the contest with a single up the middle. Two batters later, Coyle scored when Toles tripled to right-center field. Toles did not wait long before coming in as Justin O'Conner bounced a single through the right side of the infield for an early 2-0 Hot Rods lead.
Bowling Green added two more scores, one each in the fifth and sixth frames. The Hot Rods took a 3-0 advantage in the fifth with O'Conner lifting a sacrifice fly to right field that scored Coyle. In the sixth, Marty Gantt led off the inning with a single and later crossed home plate on an RBI single by Ryan Dunn.
That was more than enough offense for Ames in the longest appearance of his career. Ames faced the minimum in four of his six innings pitched. The biggest threat for the LumberKings came in the fifth when Jordy Lara and Tyler Marlette opened the frame with back-to-back singles. Ames coaxed a fly out from Taylor Ard and struck out Ketel Marte and Keith Werman to escape with the shutout intact.
Hot Rod relievers RHP Marcus Jensen and RHP Ryan Garton combined to cover the final three innings of the contest. Jensen pitched a scoreless seventh inning. Garton gave up a two-run homer in the ninth inning to Lara but finished the contest without any more scoring. With the victory, Bowling Green closes its Western Division road trip at 2-4, including the series win against Clinton.