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Hot Rods Game Notes

June 22, 2019 - Midwest League (MWL) - Bowling Green Hot Rods News Release

About Last Night... Matthew Liberatore pitched well on Friday, setting down the first four batters he faced in order before allowing a one-out walk in the second to Jonathan Sierra. Sierra was caught stealing after the southpaw's first strikeout to close out the inning. Liberatore held the Cubs hitless through 6.2 innings before Brennan Davis doubled to left to break up the no-hitter. Tyler Durna followed up with a ground ball to center for a single, driving in Davis to give South Bend a 1-0 lead. That run is all the Cubs needed, as the Hot Rods were held to just one hit over the final three innings with two walks. The team had one runner in scoring position in the eighth in Osmy Gregorio, but he was stranded there as the inning ended. Liberatore went seven innings in his first loss of the season, allowing one run on four hits with two walks and seven strikeouts. Chris Muller worked one scoreless inning, allowing a hit and a walk with a strikeout.

June Gloom... BG hasn't fared well in the month of June, posting an 8-9 record with eight games left in the month (including Saturday's contest). The Hot Rods have posted a .216 batting average and have scored 53 runs. While both of those marks are better than their opponents, it hasn't been enough to get the job done. BG is slugging just .288, having hit six homers this month while striking out 123 times. This comes at a time where the pitching staff has boomed, having a 2.66 ERA over this time. In 17 games BG has allowed 45 runs (42 earned) with 117 strikeouts and holding the opposition to a .213 batting average. Matthew Liberatore has been a standout in the rotation, having allowed just two runs over four starts for BG while Nick Sprengel hasn't allowed a run in the four outings totaling eight innings he's worked in June.

First Half... The Hot Rods finished the first half 5.5 games out of first place and were in contention for the wild card until the second-to-last day of the half, eventually losing out to the Lake County Captains. BG concluded the half 39-31 (the third best first-half mark in franchise history) while batting .251 and 48 homers. The pitching staff concluded the half with a 3.59 ERA. BG was 22-13 at home and 17-18 on the road.

All-Star Break... Eight Hot Rods were selected to participate in the 2019 All-Star festivities this week in South Bend, all of whom got to play. Chris Betts was 0-0 with two walks, Wander Franco was 0-3 with two K's, Roberto Alvarez was 0-2, and Grant Witherspoon was 0-1 with a K as a reserve. On the pitching side faired better, with Alan Strong entering first from the bullpen while authoring 0.1 innings with a hold. Trey Cumbie threw 1.0 innings in a hold with a hit and a walk, Caleb Sampen earned a hold after 1.0 innings, a hit, and a strikeout, and Easton McGee got 0.1 innings of work. The 3-3 ballgame ended in the ninth in a tie, with a Home Run Derby settling the contest. Betts walked-off the Western Division squad, hitting two homers in the 90-second time frame to earn him MVP honors.

Yesterday's Notes... Liberatore tied his season and career-high in innings pitched... Ford Proctor has a four-game hitting streak... Muller's scoreless outing was his first since May 25 against Dayton... It's his second consecutive outing without allowing an earned run... The Hot Rods fall to 8-9 in the month of June... They're 2-5 on the road on Fridays and 6-6 overall on that day of the week... The team is 5-7 on the road in their blue jerseys and 9-10 overall... The Hot Rods trail the Cubs in the season series and have a record of 2-6 against South Bend... The 1-0 loss is the team's first since July 21, 2018 when they suffered the same fate in Appleton, WI against the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers... The Hot Rods have been shut out seven times in 2019... They're 11-12 in one-run games... BG is 5-24 when they are out-hit by the opponent...

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