Bowling Green, Ky. – The Bowling Green Hot Rods (Class-A/Tampa Bay Rays) fought hard to cut the deficit to 4-2, but a six-run seventh inning for the Dayton Dragons (Cincinnati Reds) led the visitors to a 10-3 victory on Saturday night in front of 5,074 fans at Bowling Green Ballpark.
The ballgame was scoreless when Dayton got on the board in the fourth. Jon Matthews led off with a walk, and was then picked off. Matthews however was not out, as interference was called and he moved to second. Tanner Rahier would single to advance him to third, and Phil Ervin hit a sacrifice fly to right field to drive home Matthews. Following a single by Daniel Pigott, Avain Rachel plated two runs with a double to extend the Dragons lead to 3-0.
Dayton added another run in the fifth, but the Hot Rods sliced the lead in half with a rally in the bottom of the sixth. With one out, Kean Wong reached on an infield single. Johnny Field then reached on an error by Pigott at first base, and Armando Araiza doubled down the left-field line to drive home both Wong and Field, and it sliced the deficit to 4-2.
Despite the rally, the Dragons would grab back momentum before it could change jerseys. Dayton scored six runs in the top of the seventh, highlighted by run-scoring singles by Carlton Daal, Ervin, and Pigott. The big inning was capped by a double from Jose Ortiz, as it forced home Ervin and expanded the Dayton advantage to 10-2.
Darryl George hit a solo home run with two outs in the seventh to cut the lead to 10-3, but it proved to be the game’s final run. It was George’s third home run of the season after he did not hit any last season with short-season Hudson Valley.
Sal Romano (5-8) kept the ball on the ground for the most part on Saturday night, and he received the win. He allowed just two unearned runs on five hits.
Chris Kirsch (3-6) conceded just one unearned run but took the loss. Three unearned runs also crossed on Kirsch’s ledger, all in the top of the third inning.
With the crowd of 5,074, the Hot Rods have drawn 11,205 fans to the first two games of the present 10-game homestand.
The Hot Rods will try again against Dayton on Sunday afternoon on a Family Sundae. Ice cream will be half-price all game long, and kids can run the bases after the game thanks to Smucker’s Uncrustables. First pitch on Sunday afternoon is set for 2:05 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.