Lansing, MI. (WBKO) --- Chris Betts hit his 12th home run of the season in the Bowling Green Hot Rods 3-2 loss to the Lansing Lugnuts on Friday night at Cooley Law School stadium in Lansing, MI in the opener of a three-game series. The Hot Rods fall to 38-30 with the loss and can be eliminated from the first-half Eastern Division wild card race with either a loss or a Lake County win on Saturday. The Hot Rods will continue their series with the Lugnuts on Saturday night with a 6:05 PM CDT first pitch.
Bowling Green got to Lugnuts starter Josh Winckowski in the first inning with one out to take an early lead. Wander Franco worked a one-out walk to bring Chris Betts to the plate, who promptly drove the first pitch he saw over the right-field wall that scored Franco. The long-ball was Betts’ 12th of the year and gave the Hot Rods a 2-0 edge.
The Lugnuts cut into the Hot Rods lead in the fourth without getting a hit against Cristopher Sanchez, the Hot Rods starter. Griffin Conine, Jake Brodt, and Hagen Danner all worked walks and Rafael Lantigua lifted a sacrifice fly to center field, making it a 2-1 game with Bowling Green still in front.
Lansing took the lead in the eighth against Bowling Green reliever Trey Cumbie in his second inning of work. Luis De Los Santos doubled off the wall in right and scored when D.J. Neal doubled to right-center to tie the game. Neal went to third on a wild pitch and scored on Gariel Moreno’s sacrifice fly to give the Lugnuts a 3-2 advantage while taking the lead for the first time all night. The Hot Rods got the leadoff man aboard in the ninth with Grant Witherspoon working a walk, but Roberto Alvarez grounded into a game-ending double play to drop the Hot Rods to 38-30.
Sanchez tossed six innings while holding Lansing to a run on two hits with four walks and two strikeouts in a no-decision. Cumbie (2-1) allowed two runs on five hits over two innings in a loss while also suffering his first blown save of the season.
Notes: Betts has a four-game hit streak… He also had his 10th multi-RBI game of the season… Franco extended his hit streak to five games… Johnson has a hit in three-consecutive games… Sanchez earned a quality start, his first of the season… It’s the 23rd quality start of the year for a Hot Rods pitcher… His six innings of work set a new personal season-high… He tied a career-high with four walks… It’s the fifth time in his career he’s done so… Cumbie blew his first save of the season for Bowling Green… The Hot Rods were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position… Bowling green is 5-3 against Lansing this season… The four-game losing streak is the longest losing streak of the season for BG… The Hot Rods are 6-7 in the month of June… They are also 12-9 in games that open a series this season… Fans can catch all the action with Shawn Murnin on Willie 107.9 FM, as well as, with their smart phones via the MiLB First Pitch app and TuneIn Radio app.