[Via email from the Bowling Green Hot Rods' broadcaster Tom Gauthier.]
Kyeong Kang picked up another pair of doubles for the Hot Rods on Tuesday night at Fluor Field in Greenville, SC. Kang’s 37th and 38th extra-base hits were not enough, however, as the Hot Rods dropped the series opener against the Greenville Drive (30-34, 69-63) by a 3-0 tally. The loss is the third straight for Bowling Green, ensuring the Hot Rods (29-33, 63-68) must win their final six games to finished with a .500 record in their inaugural season.
Greenville opened the scoring against Hot Rods starter Frank De Los Santos (4-10) in the bottom of the fourth inning. After a lead-off triple by Shannon Wilkerson, the infield played in with one out for Will Middlebrooks. The Greenville third baseman bounced one to third base, but the throw home by Isaias Velasquez was just late, allowing Wilkerson to score the game’s first run.
That run was the only flaw against De Los Santos, who worked the maximum five innings. He surrendered four hits without issuing a walk. The lefty struck out three and hit one batter to lower his ERA to 3.79 with one start to go in 2009.
Greenville’s Brock Huntzinger (9-9) matched De Los Santos with five innings, and while he didn’t give up a run, he had to pitch out of some jams. In the first inning he allowed lead-off singles before retiring the next nine batters. He set down 11 in a row after that before loading the bases with two down in the fourth. He was able to get out of that jam by retiring Jason Tweedy on a long fly to the warning track in left-center field.
After Greenville scored two runs against Juan Santana in the seventh, the Hot Rods had one more chance in the eighth against reliever Kyle Rutter. Anthony Scelfo led off with a single before being thrown out at second base trying to steal. Isaias Velasquez followed with a single to left before taking third two batters later on a two-out double by Kyeong Kang. That rally ended when John Mollicone struck out to end the inning.
In the game the Hot Rods left eight men on base, six of them at second or third. They finished the game 0-7 with runners in scoring position.
The Hot Rods try to even the series on Wednesday night at Fluor Field. RHP Juan Santana (0-1, 3.66) makes his second straight appearance in the rotation against Greenville RHP Caleb Clay (5-6, 3.93). First pitch is at 6:05 PM CDT. You can follow the game on the radio beginning at 6:20 PM with Tom Gauthier on 1340 WBGN and www.bghotrods.com.
The Hot Rods return home for their final home stand on Friday night against the Lexington Legends (Houston Astros), the final meeting with the Bluegrass rivals. Friday night is Faith and Family Night presented by Christian Family Radio. For a complete list of Friday’s events as well as tickets and a full promotional schedule, visit www.bghotrods.com.