[Via email from the Bowling Green Hot Rods' broadcaster Tom Gauthier.]
In a game marked by fantastic starting pitching, the Hot Rods Matt Moore was a few pitches better than Rome’s J.J. Hoover, leading Bowling Green to a 2-0 win on Friday night in Rome. The victory completed the four-game sweep for Bowling Green (6-2, 40-38), which also took seven of 12 meetings with the Braves (2-7, 37-42). The win also caps off a great road trip to begin the second half with the Hot Rods compiling a 6-2 record, good for first place in the second-half Southern Division standings.
Moore (5-3) was the star of the game, throwing a career-best 7.2 innings. The lefty scattered just five hits over his body of work. He allowed just one runner to reach second base courtesy of a double from Ryan Barba in the sixth. The Braves never had a runner to third and never had multiple base runners against Moore. By the time he left, after a two-out walk in the eighth, Moore had nine strikeouts against just two walks.
Meanwhile, the Braves J.J. Hoover was as good as Moore was for seven innings. The right-hander struck out eight over seven innings, walking just one. He allowed just one run on four hits, but the one run was a big one, coming in the sixth inning.
The winning rally started with a lead-off double from Tim Beckham, his fifth hit of the series and his 15th in 12 games against Rome on the season. Beckham was moved to third base on a groundout by Jake Jefferies before scoring on a sacrifice fly to left field by Kyeong Kang. The RBI was Kang’s fourth in the series and his 21st in 2009.
The Hot Rods added an insurance run in the eighth inning after Hoover left the game. Facing Clayton McMillian with two outs, Beckham hit a grounder to short stop but the throw to first base was dropped by first baseman Stephen Shults allowing Beckham to reach safely. The Hot Rods immediately capitalized as Jefferies tripled to deep right field to give the Hot Rods a 2-0 lead.
In the eighth, Moore got the first two out before walking Barba. He left after the walk, completing a career-high 7.2 innings. Marquis Fleming came on and retired Chris Shehan to end the eighth. Fleming then worked a perfect ninth for his third save of the season.
For Moore, his outing followed up a sensational month of June, where he went 2-1 with a 1.63 ERA over five starts. He has now allowed just one run over his last three games covering a span of 19.1 innings (0.47 ERA). He has also picked up 26 strikeouts against six walks during that run.
The Hot Rods now come home to host the Augusta GreenJackets on Saturday night, July 4 with postgame fireworks presented by WBKO. RHP Shane Dyer (1-6, 5.07) starts the opener of the series against Augusta RHP Mike Loree (4-5, 3.99). You can follow the action with Tom Gauthier on 1340 AM WBGN and www.bghotrods.com. Coverage begins at 6:50 PM CDT with first pitch coming at 7:05 PM CDT. For tickets and a complete list of promotions, visit www.bghotrods.com or stop by the Hot Rods ticket office at Bowling Green Ballpark.