Strong Outstanding in 3-2 Win over Bandits
Davenport, IA - Alan Strong tossed seven shutout innings while Chris Betts homered in support as the Bowling Green Hot Rods defeated the Quad Cities River Bandits, 3-2 at Modern Woodmen Park on Saturday night. The Hot Rods improve to 58-40 overall and 19-9 in the second half with the second game of the series scheduled for Sunday evening at 5:15 PM CDT.
The Hot Rods took an early lead against River Bandits starter Lupe Chavez in the first inning thanks to a home run. Ford Proctor led off the game with a walk and Seaver Whalen followed with a single through the right side of the infield. Jonathan Aranda grounded into a double play that moved Proctor to third, but Betts teed off on his 16th home run of the season to give the Hot Rods a 2-0 edge. Betts' homer also tied him with Kevin Padlo (2016) for the fifth most home runs in franchise history. Betts is now six behind Derek Dietrich (2011) who holds the club record with 22.
Chavez returned to the mound in the second only to yield another run to Bowling Green. Grant Witherspoon led off with an infield single off the glove of Chavez and went to second on an errant pickoff throw to first. With two outs, Izzy Wilson tripled off the left-center field wall to score Witherspoon and extend the Hot Rods lead to 3-0.
The River Bandits drew within a run in the eighth against Nathan Witt and Joel Peguero out of the bullpen. With one out, Trey Dawson doubled to right and went to third on a balk. Ramiro Rodriguez hit a fly ball to left that turned into an error on Whalen, allowing Dawson to score, cutting the Bowling Green lead to two. Austin Dennis walked, and Oscar Campos singled to left, plating Rodriguez to make it a 3-2 ballgame. Peguero came on in relief of Witt and got the final two outs of the frame to hold off the Bandits rally. Despite allowing a hit in the ninth, Peguero closed out the ballgame to give Bowling Green a series-opening 3-2 win.
Strong (7-4) earned tossed seven shutout innings, allowing three hits and two walks with six strikeouts in a win. Witt allowed two runs (one earned) on two hits with a walk over 0.1 innings out of the bullpen, earning a hold. Peguero earned his ninth save of the season, throwing 1.2 innings while holding the River Bandits to one hit. Peguero also tied Jamie Bagley (2009) and Kyle Bird (2015) for fifth-most saves in a season for a Hot Rods reliever.
Notes: Whalen extended his on-base streak to 17-games... He's also got a three-game hit streak... Whalen had his 10th multi-hit game of the year... Betts has a four-game hit streak... He's also reached safely in 11-straight contests... He had his 15th multi-RBI game of the season, as well... Proctor has five-game hitting streak... He also had his team-leading 25th multi-hit game... Bowling Green has hit more home runs in the first inning (13) than any other inning in 2019... BG has homered against every team in the league except for Peoria... Strong went seven innings for the sixth time in his career... He also hurled his 10th quality start of the season... He leads the team... The Hot Rods are 18-16 in one-run games this season... They're also 20-11 in games that open a series... Saturday was the team's 39th win at night... BG improved to 39-16 when scoring first... The Hot Rods are 10-7 in their road grey uniforms... The Hot Rods continue their three-game series with the Quad Cities River Bandits on Sunday with a 5:15 PM CDT first pitch... Bowling Green will send RH Easton McGee (7-2, 3.39) to the mound to face Quad Cities RH Jose Rivera (5-3, 4.97)... Fans can catch all the action with Shawn Murnin on Willie 107.9 FM, as well as, with their smart phones via the MiLB First Pitch app and TuneIn Radio app.
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