SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WBKO) --- Wander Franco swatted two hits and Shane McClanahan allowed just three hits over 5.0 innings of two-run ball, but a ninth-inning rally by the Bowling Green Hot Rods fell short once again as they fell 2-1 to the South Bend Cubs on Wednesday night. The Hot Rods will seek to avoid the sweep on Thursday night as they finish the series with a 6:05 p.m. CDT first pitch.
South Bend took the lead in the second inning against McClanahan. The southpaw set down the first two hitters of the inning, but Brennen Davis singled and Chris Morel followed that with a double to the wall in left-center, bringing home Davis for the first run of the game. The Cubs added to that lead an inning later as Gustavo Polanco led off the third with a solo home run to right, giving South Bend a 2-0 lead.
Offensively, Bowling Green struggled to get much going against Cubs starter Faustino Carrera. Carrera set down 14-straight Hot Rods over the first five innings. Roberto Alvarez led off the sixth with a single and advanced to second on a wild pitch, but he advanced no further as Carrera kept Bowling Green off the scoreboard.
The Hot Rods also collected a leadoff single from Wander Franco in the seventh off reliever Jose Albertos, but he was caught stealing. Albertos settled down and set down the next seven hitters. However, with two outs in the ninth, he hit Michael Smith. Eugenio Palma came out of the bullpen and allowed an RBI single to Franco to cut the lead to 2-1, but Palma struck out Chris Betts to end the game, sending Bowling Green to a second-straight loss.
McClanahan (4-4) went 5.0 innings, allowing two runs on three hits while walking one and striking out six, taking the loss. Miller Hogan worked 3.0 scoreless innings in relief, allowing one hits while striking out two.