Bowling Green, Ky. – A three-run home run by Julian Ridings pushed the Bowling Green Hot Rods (Class-A/Tampa Bay Rays) out to an early lead, but the Cedar Rapids Kernels (Minnesota Twins) used a three-run homer of their own in the third to go in front, and they held on for the 5-4 victory on Friday night.
The Hot Rods’ second-inning rally began with a one-out single by Armando Araiza. Elias Torres then drew a walk to push him to second, and Alexander Simon grounded into a fielder’s choice that erased Torres, but Simon reached first base on the play. With runners on the corners and two outs, Julian Ridings fouled off very good pitches to stay alive. With a 1-2 count, he slammed a breaking ball over the right-field fence for a three-run home run and a 3-0 lead.
Bowling Green’s advantage was short-lived, and the Kernels stole the lead in the top of the third. Tanner Vavra drew a one-out walk, and one out later, he moved to second when Engelb Vielma walked. Chad Christensen singled to drive home Vavra and advance Vielma to third base. That setup Bryan Haar who then homered into the left-field bullpen to erase the Hot Rods’ advantage and give Cedar Rapids the 4-3 lead.
With two outs in the fourth, Michael Quesada extended the lead with a solo home run. It was his fourth of the year, and it stretched the Cedar Rapids advantage to 5-3.
The Cedar Rapids lead would be tested as the Hot Rods cut it to just one in the seventh. Ridings worked a one-out walk, and advanced to third when Spencer Edwards followed with a double. Juniel Querecuto then grounded out to the first baseman Christensen to drive home Ridings, and slice the deficit to 5-4. Despite putting the tying run aboard in the ninth that would the closest the Hot Rods would get the remainder of the ballgame.
Jaime Schultz (2-1) made his first start since June 22, as he was activated off the disabled list prior to the game. He allowed four runs in his first loss as a Hot Rod, but did strike out four batters. German Marquez made a piggy-back start with Schultz and conceded just one run on four hits over five innings with seven strikeouts.
Ryan Eades (6-11) picked up the win for Cedar Rapids after working five innings and allowing three runs.
The homestand continues as the Hot Rods welcome in the Quad Cities River Bandits (Houston Astros) on Saturday night on Faith & Family Night presented by Ashley Furniture and Christian Family Radio. Gates open at 6 p.m. CT, and first pitch will be hurled at 7:05 p.m. In addition to a TV giveaway thanks to McGown TV Sales & Service, Audio Adrenaline will take the stage and perform for all those in attendance following the contest. For tickets to any Hot Rods game, or for more information, fans can visit BGHotRods.com, call 270-901-2121, or visit the Bowling Green Ballpark box office.