EASTLAKE, OH- The Bowling Green Hot Rods (5-9, 37-46) scored early and often on Thursday night and they held off a late rally by the Lake County Captains (9-5, 36-48). The Hot Rods took the series with a 8-5 win in the rubber game in front of 7,677 fans at Classic Park. The game featured 13 runs, 29 hits and ten extra base hits.
In the first inning, Bowling Green gained an early 1-0 lead off of Captains’ starter Jordan Milbrath. Centerfielder Spencer Edwards opened the game with a sharp single back through the box into center field. Second baseman Kean Wong followed with an identical single, moving Edwards to second. Edwards advanced to third on a fielder’s choice that erased Wong. Catcher Oscar Hernandez drove a fly ball to center field to plate Edwards.
Right fielder Johnny Field hit his fifth homerun of the year, a solo shot to right center field in the third. The Hot Rods held a 2-0 lead after three innings.
The Hot Rods opened the game up with a three-run fifth inning. Edwards lined a triple into the left field corner to open the inning. Wong drove in Edwards with a RBI single. Field beat out an slow grounder to short to put two runners on. Hernandez doubled to score both runners. All runs were scored with no outs. Bowling Green held a 5-0 lead at the halfway point.
Milbrath’s night came to an end in the sixth inning after he gave up a one-out single. He retired the next batter before Mark Budzinski summoned southpaw Anderson Polanco. Polanco advanced the runner to third on a wild pitch but did not allow a run to score.
Milbrath gave up five runs on eleven hits in five and two third innings. He walked one and struck out two. He fell to 2-9 on the year with the loss.
Bowling Green’s starter, lefty Bruedlin Suero, kept the Captains off the board through the first five innings. He avoided two jams with the help of double plays.
Second baseman Claudio Bautista snapped the shutout bid with his eighth homerun of the year, a solo shot to the bleachers. Bautista now has 36 runs batted in on the year.
Polanco had a ten inning scoreless streak snapped in the seventh inning as he gave up two runs to Bowling Green. Hernandez doubled for the second time in the game to open the frame. Third baseman Ty Young singled home Hernandez. A passed ball by catcher Eric Haase brought Young home.
Polanco finished with two runs allowed (one earned) on two hits in two and one third innings of work. He walked one and fanned three.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, the Captains rallied to cut the lead to three. Three singles loaded the bases for third baseman Paul Hendrix with two outs. Hendrix drove a ball to deep center field that was caught by Edwards, but Edwards ran into the wall, dropping the ball. All three runs scored on the bases-clearing triple.
Following the triple, Suero exited the game with right-hander Luis Cabrera coming in. Suero finished with four runs allowed on twelve hits in seven and two thirds innings to improve to 1-1 on the year. He set a new career-high with eight strikeouts. Luis Cabrera retired the final out of the inning.
Bowling Green added an insurance run in the ninth inning off of Carlos Melo. Field reached base on his third hit of the game. Hernandez doubled for the third time, scoring Field from first base.
Melo surrendered one run on two hits in one inning of relief work along with two walks.
Down four runs in the bottom of the ninth, Lake County rallied for one run. Shortstop Ivan Castillo singled and scored on a RBI double past a diving third baseman by Bautista. 8-5 was the final score.
Cabrera closed out the game for his first save of the season. He allowed one run on two hits in one and one third innings.
Bowling Green had 15 hits in the game led by Hernandez and Field with three each. Hernandez plated four RBI in the winning effort.
Lake County had 14 hits in the losing effort. Castillo had three hits while four other players had two-hit games. Hendrix drove in three runs for the Captains.
The Captains will travel to South Bend, Indiana for a three game series starting on Friday. RHP Caleb Hamrick (2-3, 6.29) will start for the Captains against RHP Blayne Weller (3-4, 4.66). First pitch from Four Winds Field is at 7:35 PM.