Midland, MI – Josh Sale homered, scored the eventual winning run, and drove home three to lead the Bowling Green Hot Rods (31-20, 69-52) to a 4-1 over the Great Lakes Loons (23-28, 57-63) on Wednesday night at Dow Diamond. In the first game of the three-game set, starter Trevor Shull allowed a lone unearned run in six frames to earn his third win in his last four outings. The victory leaves the Hot Rods with a 31-30 road record, which is the first time the team’s road record has been above .500 since April 26.
Sale’s line drive home run to the batter’s eye in centerfield erased an early 1-0 Loons lead in the top of the fifth inning. The long home run was Sale’s first home run in the month of August and just his second since June 11. The homer woke up a Hot Rods offense that had recorded just one hit on the night at the time of the Sale longball.
Two innings later, Sale factored into another Hot Rods run as he drew a leadoff walk in the top of the seventh inning. After stealing second base and advancing to third on a Taylor Motter single, the Rays 2011 first round pick scored on a Juniel Querecuto RBI-groundout. The Hot Rods took a 2-1 lead on the play and never surrendered the lead on Wednesday.
Looking for insurance in the top of the eighth, Sale delivered again for Bowling Green. With the bases loaded and one out, he singled through hole at shortstop to drive in two runs to give the Hot Rods a three run cushion and 4-1 advantage. Sale’s three RBI’s on the night mark the sixth time he has recorded a three-RBI game this season.
The four runs proved to be more than enough for Hot Rods pitchers, who only surrendered two hits in the win. Shull, who retired ten of his final 11 hitters, was strong in his six innings to earn his third win in the starter’s role this season. Reliever Jake Partridge set down all six men that he faced and Austin Hubbard recorded his 18th save of the season in the ninth. The Hot Rods held the Loons without a hit from the fifth inning onward in the 4-1 win.
From Dow Diamond in Midland, MI, the Hot Rods continue their six-game, seven-day road trip on Thursday night at 6:05 AM CDT. Getting the start for the Hot Rods in the second of a three-game set is RHP Parker Markel (8-5, 3.99). The Great Lakes Loons are scheduled to counter with RHP Duke von Schamann (3-3, 3.18).