Bowling Green, Ky. – The Bowling Green Hot Rods (Class-A/Tampa Bay Rays) faced a steep deficit early on, but the club rallied from a 6-1 hole to beat the Fort Wayne TinCaps (San Diego Padres) on Friday night, 9-6. Bowling Green plated four runs in the eighth to take the lead for the first time in the contest.
The rally in the eighth began when Armando Araiza hit an infield single to the left side. Araiza reached first base representing the tying run, he would advance to second after Granden Goetzman singled to right-center field. That setup the big hit of the day for Bowling Green, as Johnny Field slashed a triple down the right-field line. Araiza scored with ease, and Goetzman was plated all the way from first base to give the Hot Rods their first lead.
The eight continued when Darryl George drew a walk, and then stole second base. Alexander Simon then singled home field, and George would later score on a throwing error by catcher Ryan Miller. The result was four runs for the Hot Rods, and their first lead of the game at 9-6. Aaron Griffin (3-3) tossed one more shutout inning in the top of the ninth to seal the win. He went four scoreless after inheriting a 6-4 deficit.
Fort Wayne did all of their scoring with two outs, and they plated four in the second inning. Four consecutive hits resulted in runs, highlighted by a triple by Luis Tejada. Dustin Peterson singled home River Stevens to stretch the lead to 4-0, as the TinCaps recorded five hits and a walk after the first two batters were retired.
The TinCaps’ success with two outs continued in the fifth. The inning was extended when Franmil Reyes singled up the middle. Dane Phillips then homered into the right field bullpen to swell the Fort Wayne lead to 6-1.
Bowling Green’s comeback started in the bottom of the fifth when they scored three runs. Goetzman led off with a single, and would advance to second base when Field reached on a fielder’s choice. George drove a single to right-center field to score Goetzman, and a passed ball by Miller allowed Field to score from third base. Juniel Querecuto then singled to advance George home, and the Fort Wayne lead was trimmed to 6-4.
That lead was cut to just one run in the seventh. Querecuto was once again the breakthrough hit, as he drove home George to bring the Hot Rods within one. The four-run eighth inning followed, and Bowling Green rallied for the 9-6 victory to salvage a game in the series.
Hot Rods starter Jake Faria suffered a deceiving final line. He allowed six runs in five innings, but all six came across with two outs. The rally left him with a no-decision, as Griffin went the rest of the way and allowed just two hits in the win.
Ronald Herrera conceded five runs and worked into the seventh as Fort Wayne’s starter, but it was the bullpen who allowed four more runs that proved decisive. Wilson Santos (0-3) was handed the loss.
The Hot Rods now hit the road for a short three-game series in South Bend, Ind. against the first-place Silver Hawks. Game one is Saturday night at 6:05 p.m. CT, and fans can follow the action beginning with the Pepsi Pre-Game Show at 5:50 p.m. CT on 1340 WBGN – The Ticket. Bowling Green returns home on Wednesday, June 4 to open up a six-game homestand. Tickets and more information can be found at BGHotRods.com, by calling 270-901-2121, or by visiting the Bowling Green Ballpark box office.