Bowling Green, Ky. – On the heels of a record-setting performance by Jaime Schultz on Thursday night, Blake Snell kept the dominant stretch going for Bowling Green Hot Rods (Class-A/Tampa Bay Rays) pitching on Friday night, as Snell hurled seven-shutout innings in Bowling Green’s 5-0 victory over the Lake County Captains (Cleveland Indians).
Snell (3-2) turned his fourth quality start of the season, which leads the Hot Rods staff. He worked seven scoreless innings and conceded just four hits, and walked only two batters while tying a season-high with nine strikeouts. Snell had runners at first and third base in the third with no one out, but was able to work out of the jam in his only inning of trouble on the night. His earned run average dropped to 1.79, good for third in the Midwest League.
In the beginning stages of the games, the Hot Rods offense was caught up in the pitcher’s show as well. However, they broke through for one run in the fourth. Juniel Querecuto sliced the first hit of the game to right field. He would steal second base, and move up to third base on a grounder. With two down, he scored on a wild pitch to give Bowling Green a 1-0 lead.
Like Friday night, the Hot Rods offense put the game out of reach with a big inning late. This time the runs came in the eighth, and Oscar Hernandez started the rally with a double down the left-field line. He was immediately plated as Ariel Soriano followed suit with a similar double down the left-field line. Ty Young slammed a single to center field to put runners at the corners, and Soriano scored when Alexander Simon laid down a squeeze bunt. Querecuto recorded his second hit of the game and drove home Young, and he would later score on another wild pitch to give the game its final margin of 5-0.
Stone Speer made quick work of the Captains in the eighth and ninth innings out of the Bowling Green bullpen. He was inserted into the ballgame when the lead was just one, and Speer earned his second save of the campaign.
Lake County starter Jordan Milbrath (1-5) pitched well enough to win, but his offense ran into both Snell and Speer. Milbrath tossed five innings and allowed just one run on one hit in the defeat.
The Hot Rods have pulled back to within three games of .500, and will go for the sweep of the Captains on Saturday night with a special start-time. Gates will open at 5 p.m. with a first pitch of 6:05 p.m., as rising star Clayton Anderson will take the stage following the contest. The concert is free with fans’ tickets to the game. Tickets are still available, and they can be purchased online at BGHotRods.com or by visiting the Bowling Green Ballpark box office.