[Via email from the Bowling Green Hot Rods' broadcaster Tom Gauthier.]
In his final start of 2009, Frank De Los Santos left the fans of Bowling Green with a lasting memory, throwing five strong innings on Sunday afternoon. De Los Santos was denied his fifth win of the season as the Hot Rods’ bullpen could not hold a 4-1 lead, eventually losing to the Legends 7-4. The loss is the fourth straight for the Hot Rods (30-37, 64-73), dropping them to 6-11 against the Legends (31-38, 67-72) heading into the season finale on Monday afternoon.
Bowling Green opened the scoring in the bottom of the second inning, getting an unearned run that began with a lead-off walk from Kyeong Kang. He took second on a passed ball, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt from Isaias Velasquez, and then scored on a sac fly from Mike Sheridan for a 1-0 lead.
After the Legends evened the game in the fourth, the Hot Rods took the lead back in the fifth. Jeremy Beckham walked to lead off the inning, coming around to score a few pitches later on a Justin Reynolds double. After a ground out by Tim Beckham, Jake Jefferies was hit by a pitch to put runners at the corners. Kang followed with a run-scoring single to centerfield to give the Hot Rods a 3-1 lead. After a walk loaded the bases, Sheridan picked up his second RBI of the game with a single to right.
After the Hot Rods left the bases loaded in the inning, Lexington began its comeback with a solo home run from Brian Pellegrini in the top of the sixth against Deivis Mavares. An inning later, with two outs, Maveres surrendered a two-run homer to Albert Cartwright to tie the game at 4-4.
Mavares took the blown save, spoiling the win for Frank De Los Santos, the Koch Air Coolest Pitcher. De Los Santos was strong in his final start of the year, allowing just one unearned run over five innings of work. He walked three, struck out two, and recorded ten of his 15 outs on ground balls.
Mavares left in the eighth for Jairo De La Rosa (0-1), and things didn’t get much better. De La Rose loaded the bases on a ground-rule double, an intentional walk to Pellegrini, and a bunt single by Eric Suttle. Two batters later Freddie Hernandez blooped a single into shallow center to give the Legends a 5-4 lead. Two more runs would score before the inning was over, both on wild pitches, to cap the scoring at 7-4.
Lexington’s bullpen carried it the rest of the way, allowing just two base runners over the final three innings. Michael Hacker earned the win throwing two scoreless frames. He turned it over to Matt Navarez, who worked a scoreless ninth for the save.
Offensively for the Hot Rods, Kang extended his hitting streak to a personal and team-best 16 games. Velasquez finished 2-2 with a walk and a sacrifice while Mike Sheridan had a single and two RBI.
The Hot Rods inaugural season now comes to an end on Monday afternoon with a Labor Day matinee. In honor of the holiday, all pregnant women get into Bowling Green Ballpark for free. In the final game LHP Michael Jarman (4-5, 3.95) will face Lexington RHP Robert Bono (9-8, 3.35). First pitch is 1:05 PM. Gates open at 11:30 AM for season ticket holders and 12 PM for the general public. For tickets, visit www.bghotrods.com or stop by the Hot Rods ticket office at Bowling Green Ballpark. You can follow the game on the radio beginning at 12:50 PM with Tom Gauthier on 1340 WBGN and www.bghotrods.com.