[Via email from the Bowling Green Hot Rods' broadcaster Tom Gauthier.]
Kyeong Kang picked up two more extra base hits while Jason Corder added another RBI on Thursday night, but the Hot Rods (27-24, 61-60) couldn’t keep pace with Greensboro (19-33, 56-66) resulting in a 6-2 loss. A four-run fourth inning proved to be the difference as the Grasshoppers won the final three games of the four-game series with Bowling Green. The Hot Rods have lost five of six heading into a four-game weekend series with Northern Division-leading Kannapolis.
Kang and Corder, both having excellent series entering the finale, teamed up in the first inning to give the Hot Rods an early lead. After Tim Beckham singled and was subsequently picked off, Kang laced a triple to deep left-center field, his sixth three bagger of the season. He scored a few pitches later when Corder smacked a single to left to give him his fourth RBI of the series and his 19th since coming off the Disabled List.
Kang would strike again in the third with the Hot Rods trailing 2-1. Robi Estrada led off with a single before advancing to second to batters later on a groundout by Beckham. That’s when Kang smacked a double down the right field line to plate Estrada and tie the game at 2-2. It was Kang’s fourth extra-base hit of the series, giving him four RBI as well.
At that point, in a 2-2 game, starting pitcher Joe Cruz was rolling right along. After the two-run first inning, he had retired seven in a row. That ended in the fourth inning when the Grasshoppers sent eight men to the plate, scoring four times to open the game up at 6-2. Four of the first five batters in the inning had base hits and came around to score, highlighted by an RBI double from Torre Langley and a run-scoring single from Isaac Galloway.
Cruz (4-8) took the loss, leaving the game after just four innings. He allowed six runs, all of them earned, tying the most he’s allowed in a single game in his career. He did strikeout five, including four of six batters he faced between the second and third innings. Cruz has now lost four straight decisions dating back to July 22 against Hagerstown.
Greensboro’s Johnny Dorn (11-9) earned the win, allowing both Hot Rods runs over six innings of work. He was followed up by three scoreless frames from Rodolfo Encarnacion, who earned his first save of the season.
In addition to Kang, who finished 2-3 with a double, a triple, a walk, and an RBI, Corder was 1-3 with a walk and an RBI. Justin Reynolds picked up his third three-hit game of the year recording a double and two singles.
After losing three of four to Greensboro, the Hot Rods now head to Kannapolis, NC, to take on the Intimidators (Chicago White Sox) in their final road series against the Northern Division. LHP Frank De Los Santos (4-8, 3.69) opens the series against Kannapolis RHP James Albury (3-0, 4.50). First pitch is at 6:05 PM CDT. You can follow the game on the radio beginning at 5:50 PM with Tom Gauthier on 1340 WBGN and www.bghotrods.com.
The Hot Rods return home for a seven-game home stand on Tuesday, August 25 against the West Virginia Power (Pittsburgh Pirates). The seven game home stand features Kraft Singles Tuesday, Thirsty Thursday presented by All Hit WUHU and No. 1 Country Beaver 96.7 on August 27, and post-game fireworks presented by WBKO on Friday, August 28. For tickets and a complete list of promotions visit www.bghotrods.com.