The Bowling Green Hot Rods inched closer to a playoff spot with a 4-3 win over West Michigan on Thursday at Bowling Green Ballpark.
Ryan Dunn delivered a game-winning single in the eighth, but it was the bullpen who helped the Hot Rods win a fifth straight game. Ryan Garton and Andrew Hanse combined for 4 2/3 scoreless innings of work to keep the game tied and set up Dunn’s game winner.
Here are post game comments from Garton and BG manager Jared Sandberg.
“Ryan had some days off some he needed to pitch tonight. We gave him the opportunity and he went out there and pitched. He was erratic at times but he made some huge pitches when he needed to and it was a gutsy performance for sure. It was a short bullpen and he gave us some much needed innings.”
On the game ending 4-1 grounder from Tommy Coyle to Andrew Hanse that clinched the win
“That was a huge play at the end of the game. It’s something we’ve worked on all year, a point of emphasis in the Rays organization. That play can be messed up all the time and we executed it to perfection with the game on the line in a huge part of our season.”
on Dunn’s game winning hit
“He battled, fouled off a couple of pitches with two strikes, and was able to put barrel on the ball and make a nice adjustment. That’s the grinder type of player he is. He grinds out at-bats, grinds out the season. He has a flair for the dramatic with two walk-off homers early this (season). It was the right guy at the right time for sure.”
“I’ve been on a couple of days rest now so there was no pitch limit. I’ve gone three or four innings before on big rest and I think I had three or four days rest going into today because we’ve been trying to save the bullpen because we are short right now. I just kept focusing on competing.”
on Marty Gantt’s game-saving catch in the eighth
“It’s helpful when Marty makes a play like that. That puts a lot of confidence in your head and you pitch 100 times better. We were able to get the bats going after that. I think because of Marty’s play we got confidence in our bats too.”
on his 22 inning scoreless streak
“I had a a talk with Jared about a month ago. We talked about last year and he said he didn’t see the confidence that I had last year (at Hudson Valley). I took it to heart and I’m going out every time with confidence, competing the best I can.”