BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) --- Roberto Alvarez had three hits, including a homer and Caleb Sampen threw 7.0 shutout innings as the Bowling Green Hot Rods secured a four-game sweep of the West Michigan Whitecaps with a 4-0 win on Monday afternoon. The Hot Rods are back in action Tuesday night as they welcome in the Fort Wayne TinCaps into Bowling Green Ballpark for a series opener that has a 6:35 p.m. first pitch.
After two scoreless innings, Bowling Green struck first in the third. With one out, Alvarez singled, then moved to third when Osmy Gregorio doubled off the right-field wall. Michael Smith followed with a two-run single up the middle. After Smith was caught stealing, Wander Franco singled to right, then scored when Kaleo Johnson doubled down the left-field line, giving the Hot Rods a 3-0 lead.
With the lead in hand, Sampen took care of the Whitecaps on the mound. The right-hander ran into trouble in the fifth, allowing a walk and a single to begin the inning. However, he picked up a strike out and two groundouts to first to keep West Michigan off the board. Sampen set down the final nine batters he faced, finishing 7.0 shutout innings.
In the home half of the seventh, Alvarez added to his strong day. With one out, he lined a 2-1 pitch over the right-field wall. His third home run of the season extended the Hot Rods lead to 4-0. From there, Nick Sprengel emerged from the bullpen and retired all six hitters he faced to nail the down the victory and the series sweep.
Sampen (5-4) went 7.0 shutout innings, allowing four hits, while walking one and striking out four. Sprengel threw the final two frames, striking out one without allowing a baserunner.