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Hot Rods Game Notes

June 15, 2019 - Midwest League (MWL) - Bowling Green Hot Rods News Release

Bowling Green is looking to snap a four-game losing streak while also trying to keep their playoff hopes alive. BG would be knocked out of contention with either a loss, or a Lake County win tonight.

About Yesterday... The Hot Rods started out fast against Josh Winckowski and the Lansing Lugnuts, getting on the board in the first inning. With one out, Wander Franco worked a walk but didn't stay on base long as 2019 Midwest League Home Run Derby participant Chris Betts started the festivities a few nights early with a long-ball to right field. Betts' 12th of the season made it a 2-0 ballgame as the Hot Rods were trying to snap a three-game losing streak. Cristopher Sanchez worked around two hits until the fourth when he walked the bases loaded before a sacrifice fly plated a run to make it 2-1. All-Star Trey Cumbie entered out of the bullpen for the seventh, but lost the lead in the eighth. Four hits drove in a pair of runs for the Lugnuts, giving them a one-run cushion as the Bg offense got a baserunner to lead off the ninth but couldn't move him from first, taking a 3-2 loss to drop their fourth straight.

Improving Rank... All three Hot Rods players who have been ranked have moved up in the most recent updates. Wander Franco has officially been crowned the top prospect in all of minor league baseball by MLB Pipeline, while Shane Baz has entered their top-100 prospect list at number 99. Matthew Liberatore improved his standing in Baseball America's June update for their top-100 and is now ranked number 45 on the list.

Power Outage... Between May 23-31, the Hot Rods hit 11 home runs, five of which belonged to Chris Betts. Until Betts' homer in the first inning last night, Bowling Green had hit four home runs since June 1. Wander Franco hit on on June 1 (his second in as many days, both against the Lugnuts), Kaleo Johnson and grant Witherspoon each hit their seventh, and Roberto Alvarez hit his third. Power has been slow to start each month of the season, with the club hitting seven of their 21 April homers over the first 13 days and just three of their 22 May home runs in the first 13 days.

Looking at the Playoff Picture... Bowling Green has dropped four-straight and have fallen 5.5 back of the Loons, who have won the Eastern Division first half, and are still 1.5 games behind Lake County for the wild card spot. With either a loss tonight or a Lake County Captains win this evening Bowling Green would be eliminated from first-round playoff contention heading into the final game of the first half on Sunday. The Hot Rods are the only team in who isn't in a playoff spot in the division that hasn't been eliminated. Lake County closes out the first-half against the Fort Wayne TinCaps while the Loons host the Dayton Dragons.

All-Star Status... Bowling Green has eight participants in the 2019 Midwest League All-Star Game. Righty Alan Strong will be joined by teammates Easton McGee and Caleb Sampen while southpaw Trey Cumbie joins them as a replacement. Wander Franco will start the game at shortstop for the Eastern Division while Chris Betts will begin the game behind the plate. Roberto Alvarez is the starting DH and Grant Witherspoon is the Eastern Division's reserve outfielder. LHP Shane McClanahan was selected to the team originally, but was promoted to the A+ Charlotte Stone Crabs shortly thereafter. Chris Betts will be the lone participant for BG in the home run derby, a year after former BG catcher Ronaldo Hernandez won the derby in Lansing.

Yesterday's Notes... Betts has a four-game hit streak... He also had his 10th multi-RBI game of the season... Franco extended his hit streak to five games... Johnson has a hit in three-consecutive games... Sanchez earned a quality start, his first of the season... It's the 23rd quality start of the year for a Hot Rods pitcher... His six innings of work set a new personal season-high... He tied a career-high with four walks... It's the fifth time in his career he's done so... Cumbie blew his first save of the season for Bowling Green... The Hot Rods were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position... Bowling green is 5-3 against Lansing this season... The four-game losing streak is the longest losing streak of the season for BG... The Hot Rods are 6-7 in the month of June... They are also 12-9 in games that open a series this season...

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Midwest League Stories from June 15, 2019

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