Bowling Green, Ky. – For the first time in the current homestand, a late rally led to a victory that didn’t belong to the Bowling Green Hot Rods (Class-A/Tampa Bay Rays). Locked in a 1-1 draw, the Lansing Lugnuts (Toronto Blue Jays) scored two in the top of the eighth and held off a ninth-inning rally to snap Bowling Green’s four-game winning streak.
Lansing got off to a quick start in the first inning with a run. Chaz Frank started the game with a four-pitch walk, and he moved to second base on a single by Matt Dean. Mitch Nay would then slice a single through the left side to drive Frank home, and give the Lugnuts a 1-0 lead.
That advantage remained intact until the bottom of the fourth. With one out and the bases empty, Ty Young clubbed his third home run in six at-bats. It sailed over the right-field bullpen, and knotted the game at one run apiece.
Each pitching staff settled down after their run-conceding frames, and the game remained locked at one until the top of the eighth inning. Jason Leblebijian walked to start the inning, and he moved to third base on a slow dribbler that Chaz Frank was able to reach on at first base. D.J. Davis then hit a sacrifice fly to left field to send Lansing in front. The rally was capped when Nay doubled to the left-field corner, as it drove home Frank and stretched the lead to 3-1.
Like so many other games, the Hot Rods would not go down quietly. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Spencer Edwards singled to center field. Juniel Querecuto then walked to bring the winning-run to the plate. Phil Kish was able to settle down, and ended the game on a strikeout to Johnny Field, the hero from Wednesday night.
German Marquez started the game for the Hot Rods and received a no-decision, but he pitched well. He allowed just one run in four innings while striking out five in just his second start off the disabled list. Jorge Rodriguez (2-6) conceded the two runs in the eighth, and he was handed the loss.
Roberto Espinosa (2-1) took advantage of the rally and received the win out of the Lugnuts bullpen. Kish was able to dance out of trouble in the ninth to earn his first save of the season.
Bowling Green will try and start a new winning streak on Sunday afternoon in game three of a four-game series with Lansing. Gates will open at 1 p.m., and first pitch will be tossed at 2:05 p.m. CT. Kids can run the bases after the game thanks to Smucker’s Uncrustables, and ice cream will be just half-price all game long.. For tickets and more information, fans can visit BGHotRods.com, call 270-901-2121, or visit the Bowling Green Ballpark box office.