FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WBKO) --- Kaleo Johnson hit two homers, including a 420-foot, three-run shot, in the Hot Rods 9-2 victory over the Fort Wayne TinCaps on Wednesday afternoon in the series finale. Bowling Green improves to 11-9 and will take on the Lansing Lugnuts on Thursday at Bowling Green Ballpark to start a four-game series with a 6:35 PM first pitch.
Bowling Green got on the board in the third inning against TinCaps starter Efrain Contreras. Jake Palomaki led off with a single to left and went to third when Tony Pena singled through the right side of the infield. Ford Proctor singled to right, plating Palomaki and giving the Hot Rods a 1-0 lead.
The Hot Rods extended their lead in the fourth against Contreras and the TinCaps. Johnson led off with a solo home runs, his second of the season, to make it a 2-0 game. Johnson’s long ball traveled 393 feet over the left-field wall on 3-2 pitch. Roberto Alvarez singled with one out and went to second on a passed ball, scoring when Palomaki tripled to right to give the Hot Rods a 3-0 advantage.
The TinCaps got a run back in the bottom of the fourth against Hot Rods starter Michael Plassmeyer. With two outs, Blake Hunt blasted a homer of his own to left to make it a 3-1 ballgame.
Johnson appeared at the plate again in the fifth, unleashing a thunderous blast that extended the Hot Rods lead. With one out both Wander Franco and Chris Betts walked to bring Johnson to the plate. The clean-up hitter stood in a blasted his second home run of the game, a 420-foot shot to left to give the Hot Rods a 6-1 edge. They added two more runs in the sixth, taking a commanding 8-1 lead.
Franco added a homer in the eighth, a 347-foot shot to right off TinCaps reliever Adrian Martinez. The long-ball was Franco’s first of the season and extended the Hot Rods lead to 9-1. The TinCaps plated a runner in the bottom of the ninth on a wild pitch, but the Hot Rods held on for a 9-2 victory and series win.
Plassmeyer (1-1) earned the win, tossing six innings while allowing one run on five hits with a walk and seven strikeouts. Cristofer Ogando hurled two scoreless innings out of the bullpen, allowing a hit with three strikeouts. Trey Cumbie threw the ninth inning, allowing one run on two hits with a strikeout.