Hot Rods Game Notes
out Last Night... On Tuesday night, the offenses took center stage early on. After a leadoff walk off Shane Baz in the first inning, Jonathan Sierra singled home D.J. Artis for the first run of the game for South Bend. In the bottom of the inning, the Hot Rods answered, with Wander Franco, Chris Betts, and Connor Hollis hitting consecutive singles, tying the game at one apiece. An inning later, Ford Proctor hit a two-run double to left, giving the Hot Rods a 3-1 lead. In the third, the Cubs got one of those runs back, with two Bowling Green errors contributing to an unearned tally. The Hot Rods, though, took a 4-2 lead when Wander Franco crushed a solo homer to right, his fourth of the year. Baz would finish five innings with the lead, but Nick Sprengel ran into trouble after entering the game in the sixth. After a single and walk with one out, Nelson Velazquez doubled to left, scoring a run. Tyler Durna followed with a sacrifice fly, tying the game 4-4. An inning later, Sprengel returned and allowed a walk and double, followed by a two-run single that gave South Bend the lead. On the offensive side, the Hot Rods didn't record a hit over the final five innings, with 16 of the last 17 batters going down as South Bend won their second straight over the Hot Rods by a 6-4 score.
Can't Get No Relief... While the Bowling Green starters have posted a 2.82 ERA, good for second in the league, the BG bullpen have had a tougher road, posting a 4.38 ERA that ranks 12th in the Midwest League. That trend has manifested during the current homestand, as the Bowling Green starters have put up a 1.74 ERA, however, the bullpen corps have a 4.73 ERA (12 earned runs in 26.2 innings) during the eight-game stretch. Most recently, the bullpen has taken the loss the last two games, marking the first time this year that back-to-back losses have been pinned on Hot Rods relievers. Nick Sprengel also was dealt his third blown save of the season on Tuesday, which is the fifth for the Hot Rods, tied for second-most in the circuit. Despite the setbacks, though, the bullpen has posted a 10-7 record this year.
Dismaying May ... After batting .247 and hitting the second-most homers (21) in the league during April, the Hot Rods offense has scuffled since the calendar flipped to May. In 13 games this month, Bowling Green has batted just .220 with only four round-trippers. Furthermore, the Hot Rods have scored just 38 runs in May, an average of just 2.71 per game, compared to the 120 they plated in April (5.0 per game). Not all has been bad, though, as Bowling Green has managed to go 7-7, thanks in part to a 3.08 team ERA this month.
Yesterday's Notes... Franco picked up his eighth multi-hit game and his second consecutive multi-hit contest...Franco tied Betts and Kaleo Johnson for the team lead with his fourth homer, his first since April 25th vs. Lansing...Alvarez had his ninth multi-hit game of the year...Proctor collected his third multi-RBI game of the season...Grant Witherspoon and Smith each recorded their second outfield assists of the season...They are both tied with Tony Pena for the team lead with two apiece...Bowling Green now has eight outfield assists on the season...Sprengel has blown a save in three consecutive outings, also taking the loss in two of those outings...BG is 18-9 against right-handed starters...The Hot Rods have lost the first two games of a series for the first time this season...Bowling Green is 87-80 all-time against South Bend, 44-41 at Bowling Green Ballpark...
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Midwest League Stories from May 15, 2019
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