Bowling Green, Ky. – A season-high crowd of 6,131 fans witnessed a pitching matchup that was as good as advertised between the Bowling Green Hot Rods (Class-A/Tampa Bay Rays) and Dayton Dragons (Cincinnati Reds). Amir Garrett helped lead the Dragons to a narrow 3-2 win over Ben Griset and the Hot Rods on Independence Day.
Garrett (3-4) used the curveball to his advantage and limited the Hot Rods to just five hits over six innings. He left with a 3-1 lead, and issued just one free pass while lowering his earned run average to an even mark of 4.00. Griset (0-5) hurled a quality start, allowing just three runs (two earned) before being removed in the seventh inning. He struck out five batters to only one walk while dropping his earned run average to 3.90.
Dayton scored all three of their runs in the third inning. Jon Matthews led off with a triple into the left-field corner, and scored when Tanner Rahier doubled to left field. Phil Ervin would send home Rahier when he collected a double of his own. Daniel Pigott’s single to left-center field scored Ervin for the final run of the inning.
The Hot Rods responded by getting on the board in the bottom of the third. With one out, Spencer Edwards doubled to right field. Kean Wong then hit a ball nearly to the exact same spot, and it drove home Edwards. Wong was thrown out at second base trying to leg out a double, but Bowling Green trimmed the deficit to 3-1.
It remained a two-run lead for Dayton until the Hot Rods put together a rally in the eighth. Wong led off with a single, and nearly scored on Johnny Field’s triple to left field, but the throw was perfect and Wong was out at the plate. Oscar Hernandez followed with a single through a drawn-in infield to slice the lead to one run.
Bowling Green would put the tying run on base in the bottom of the ninth, but a strikeout recorded by Alejandro Chacin ended the ballgame. It sealed Chacin’s seventh save of the season, and Dayton’s narrow 3-2 win.
William Gabay was the only other hurler used by Bowling Green, and he worked two and two-thirds innings of scoreless relief to drop his earned run average to 2.45.
The fun and baseball action continues as game two of Bowling Green’s 10-game homestand is set for Saturday night. Another post-game fireworks show is on tap, thanks to Houchens Industries. The first 1,000 fans through the gates will receive a free vintage Hot Rods t-shirt. First pitch on Saturday night is slated for 7:05 p.m. CT. For tickets and more information, fans can visit BGHotRods.com, call 270-901-2121, or visit the Bowling Green Ballpark box office.