Eastlake, OH (WBKO) --- Shane McClanahan struck out nine over 5.2 innings of one-run ball and the Bowling Green Hot Rods scored all three of their runs in the fifth inning of a 3-1 victory on Friday night over the Lake County Captains. The Hot Rods improve to 23-18 ahead of Saturday night’s 6:35 p.m. first pitch.
After a pair of scoreless innings, McClanahan worked himself into trouble in the third inning, issuing a leadoff single to Connor Smith, then throwing two wild pitches. After a strikeout, Quentin Holmes hit a ground ball to Ford Proctor at second base, who threw home to retire Smith. McClanahan then allowed a single and a walk to load the bases, but Mitch Reeves grounded out, keeping the game scoreless.
An inning later, Ruben Cardenas jumped on McClanahan’s first pitch of the inning, crushing a fly ball over the right field wall for the first run of the game. The opposite-field blast put the Captains up 1-0.
The Hot Rods responded in the top of the fifth against Captains starter Raymond Burgos. Grant Witherspoon drew a leadoff walk, followed by a single from Roberto Alvarez. After a sacrifice bunt, Osmy Gregorio singled up the middle on an 0-2 pitch, scoring both runners to put the Hot Rods in front, also chasing Burgos in the process. Two batters later, after Gregorio stole both second and third, Proctor singled to left off reliever Aaron Pinto, scoring Gregorio to put Bowling Green up 3-1.
Pitching with the lead, McClanahan settled into a groove, striking out five consecutive batters over the fifth and sixth innings. He then allowed a two-out single to Cardenas, followed by a walk. The Hot Rods went to the bullpen, with Cristofer Ogando entering the game. Ogando put out the fire, striking out Angel Lopez to end the inning and preserve the two-run cushion. Joel Peguero came out of the bullpen in the eighth and worked around a leadoff walk, followed by a perfect ninth to wrap up the 3-1 victory, evening the series at one win apiece.
McClanahan (3-3) earned the win, going 5.2 innings, allowing one run on five hits while walking three and striking out nine. Ogando threw 1.1 hitless innings, walking one and striking out three, earning a hold. Peguero threw the final two innings, walking one and striking out two in nailing down his second save.
Notes: Gregorio collected his fourth multi-RBI game of the season…He stole two bases in a game for the first time this year and the fourth time in his career…Chris Betts hit his first triple since July 8, 2016 and the second of his career…Michael Smith collected his third outfield assist, tying Tony Pena for the most by a Hot Rods outfielder…It’s the fourth consecutive game for BG with an outfield assist (five assists total)…Connor Hollis batted leadoff for the first time this season…McClanahan tied a season and career-high (for the fourth time) with nine strikeouts…He currently leads the Midwest League with 55 strikeouts…He also tied a season and career-high with 5.2 innings pitched…The Hot Rods won a game against a left-handed starter for the first time since April 23 at Ft. Wayne…BG is 20-5 when out-hitting their opponents…Bowling Green has allowed three runs or fewer in 11 of their 17 games in May…BG improves to 10-10 on the road this season and 16-16 at night…The Hot Rods improved to 9-2 while wearing their orange uniforms…Bowling Green is 90-73 all-time against Lake County, 39-43 at Classic Park…The Hot Rods will play the third game of the four-game series against the Lake County Captains with a 5:30 p.m. CDT first pitch on Saturday night...LHP Cristopher Sanchez (0-1, 2.25) starts for the Hot Rods, while RHP Shane McCarthy (4-2, 3.41) gets the ball for Lake County…Fans can catch all the action with Shawn Murnin on Willie 107.9 FM, as well as, with their smartphones via the MiLB First Pitch app and TuneIn Radio app.