Bowling Green Squanders Chances in 3-1 Loss to Lansing
Bowling Green, Ky. - Bowling Green put men on base in the six of the first seven frames - and the leadoff man in four innings - but stranded 10 men in a 3-1 loss to Lansing in front of 4,637 fans at Bowling Green Ballpark Saturday night, the second sellout crowd of the 2015 season.
With the loss, Bowling Green (19-17, 56-50) drops its eighth game out of the last nine against the Lugnuts, while Lansing (18-18, 60-46) wins in the Commonwealth for the fourth time this season, and snaps a three-game losing skid.
D.J. Davis drove in the first run of the game for Lansing in the top of the second inning, singling home Ryan McBroom - who led off the frame with a double into left field - to give the Lugnuts a 1-0 lead.
After that point, however, Hot Rods' starter Chris Pike retired the next nine hitters he faced until getting touched for a one-out infield single in the top of the sixth by Jason Leblebijian. Davis followed two batters later with a two-out walk, setting the table for Dawel Lugo, who singled into left field to score Leblebijian and give Lansing a 2-0 lead.
Pike (8-5) pitched into the seventh inning, leaving after 6.2 frames and 93 pitches, scattering six hits and allowing just the two runs while striking out six and walking one in taking his third straight loss.
Against Lansing starter Tom Robson, Bowling Green had a scoring chance in the bottom of the second inning with two outs, when Coty Blanchard singled into left field with Mac James at second base, but James was gunned down at home plate by Lugnuts' left fielder David Harris to end the inning.
Bowling Green had another scoring opportunity in the bottom of the fourth, loading the bases with one out against Robson on a Bralin Jackson leadoff walk, a Justin Williams single and a James single before Warren East High School grad Mark Biggs came into the game in relief of Robson and induced a Hunter Lockwood flyout to Harris in left field to end the threat.
Robson, who is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, lasted just 3.2 innings while allowing four hits and two walks, but stranded all five Hot Rods who reached while striking out four.
Biggs (3-3) worked 1.1 innings, surrendering one hit, walking one and striking out one but keeping the Hot Rods off the scoreboard, in picking up his second win against his hometown squad.
Lockwood gave the Hot Rods their first run of the game with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning against Justin Shafer on a bouncing-ball single through the middle of the infield to score Grant Kay, who reached on an infield single with one out in the inning, making for a 2-1 score.
Lansing added an insurance run in the top of the ninth off Kyle Bird on a Lugo double into right field to score Davis, who walked to lead off the inning, but was thrown out at third base trying to stretch the double into a triple, but the damage was done and Lansing had taken a 3-1 lead.
Davis appeared to be picked off of first by Bird prior to Lugo's double, but a balk was called and the ensuing argument resulted in the ejection of Hot Rods' manager Reinaldo Ruiz.
Bird finished the final 2.1 innings on the mound for Bowling Green, giving up just one hit and run, while walking one and striking out four.
Carlos Ramirez tossed the eighth and ninth innings for Lansing, retiring all six Hot Rods he faced, getting Riley Unroe to groundout to seal the deal on the Lugnuts victory and earn him his fourth save on the year.
Jackson saw his 11-game hit streak - his second streak of at least 10 games in 2015 - come to an end with a 0-for-3 night, while James knocked the only multi-hit game for the Hot Rods, going 2-for-4 with a double. As a team, Bowling Green went just 3-for-12 with runners in scoring position.
Jose Mujica (0-0, 3.00) will bring Bowling Green's nine-game homestand to a close at 2:05 p.m. CDT on Sunday, facing Lugnuts' right-hander Starlyn Suriel (6-6, 3.76) who is making his fifth start of the year against Bowling Green.
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