Lansing, MI – Gabe Cohen and Ryan Wiegand each drove in two two-out runs on Wednesday night in Lansing, but the Hot Rods couldn’t overcome an early deficit in an 8-5 loss. The loss leaves the Hot Rods with a 5-4 record on their ten-game road trip heading into the finale with the Lugnuts on Thursday night.
The Hot Rods broke the game open by grabbing a first-inning run against Dave Sever. The first three men of the game reached on a walk, a single, and an error, loading the bases for Ryan Wiegand. The Hot Rods first baseman, who has struggled to pick up hits on the road trip, came through with a sacrifice fly to center field to put the Hot Rods on top 1-0. The RBI was Wiegand’s team-leading 30th on the season and his seventh on the road trip.
The Hot Rods would leave the bases loaded in that inning, and they would pay for it in the bottom of the first as the Lugnuts scored four times against Aaron Dott. The first two men reached and ended up at second and third on a wild pitch. They scored on a two-run single from Kevin Ahrens to give the Lugnuts a 2-1 lead. After another single, a botched double play and an error led to a third run off the bat of A.J. Jimenez. He would score to make it 4-1 on a single from Brad Glenn into right field.
An inning later, Lansing continued the scoring by grabbing a one-out single from Kenny Wilson. He took third on a groundout before scoring on another base hit by Ahrens for a 5-1 Lansing lead.
After the Hot Rods cut the lead to 5-2 on Gabe Cohen’s third inning single, the Lugnuts grabbed three more in their third inning to bust it open at 8-2.
That was all for Dott, who lasted just three innings to match his shortest outing of the season. He gave up career-highs with 10 hits and eight runs, seven of them earned. He struck out two and walked one while giving up his third homer of the season.
The Hot Rods grabbed another run in the fifth, once again generating a two-out base hit from Cohen to score Mark Thomas and cut the lead to 8-3. They left on two in the inning, which proved to be their downfall against Sever. Through five innings they had seven hits, two walks, and a hit batter, but could manage just three runs while stranding eight.
After Sever left, the Hot Rods tallied a pair of runs in the sixth inning against Evan Crawford. With two outs, back-to-back walks and a double steal put Tyler Bortnick at third and Brett Nommensen at second. Both runners scored when Wiegand delivered a two-out single off the first base bag to cut the deficit to 8-5.
While the Hot Rods mounted their rally, Deivis Mavarez kept the Lansing bats quiet. He pitched a season-high five scoreless innings, giving up just three hits and a walk.
The Hot Rods couldn’t get any closer against the Lansing ‘pen as Crawford ended up going three innings without allowing any more runs. He gave way to Casey Beck, who loaded the bases in the ninth but retired the final two batters to end the game for his second save.
The two teams now play the final game of the series on Thursday night at Cooley Law School Stadium. RHP Jason McEachern (2-6, 5.03) starts the Hot Rods’ final first-half road game against Lansing RHP Chad Jenkins (5-4, 3.51). First pitch is at 6:05 PM CDT. You can follow along the games with Tom Gauthier beginning at 5:50 PM CDT on 1340 AM WBGN and www.bghotrods.com.
The Hot Rods return home for their final three-game home stand in the first half of the season from June 18-20 against the West Michigan Whitecaps (Detroit Tigers). Friday, June 18, is Axle’s Birthday and Mascot Mania with post-game fireworks presented by Atmos Energy. On Saturday the first 1,000 fans 13 & up will receive a Fans Choice Tee courtesy of First Choice Home Medical. Sunday is Father’s Day and kids can run the bases and play catch on the field with dad after the game. To order tickets, visit www.bghotrods.com or call the Hot Rods Ticket Office at 270.901.2121.