If pitcher Dylan Floro is starting for the Bowling Green Hot Rods, the bullpen phone will be silent for most of the night.
Floro worked a career-high seven innings in Bowling Green’s 6-5 win over Wisconsin on Thursday, continuing an impressive streak. It was the seventh straight quality start for the right-hander and the ninth straight start Floro has worked at least six innings.
Floro has worked six innings in 10 starts and at least five innings in 15 of his 16 starts.
For the season Floro is 7-2, allowing 26 earned runs in 90 innings of work.
“It shows what type of pitcher he is,” BG manager Jared Sandberg said. “Obviously he is on a nice little streak right now, but he’s got really good stuff. The fastball command is there, the slider, and the change-up has come a long way the last few months. He’s getting on top of the change-up more, so it has more depth.”
Sandberg said Floro’s ability to put a bad pitch behind him has been a key to his success, citing a July 11 start at Quad Cities (Iowa) when he allowed an unearned run in the first but blanked the River Bandits over the next five innings.
“He doesn’t let little things faze him,” Sandberg said. “He’s very mature. He’s got poise out there.”
Andrew Toles and Tyler Goeddel are both taking aim at the single season record for triples, giving the BG offense a unique dimension.
Toles hit his team-high 12th triple on Friday. Goeddel hit his 10th triple of the season in Thursday’s win over Wisconsin to push him into double figures, then added No. 11 Friday.
In the previous four seasons, the Hot Rods had two players hit 10 triples in a season. Cody Rogers hit 11 in 2011, and Ty Morrison hit a franchise-record 13 triples in 2010.
“Triples are a huge part of the power game,” Sandberg said. “Everyone talks about numbers and OPS and all of that stuff. That is huge for the slugging percentage if you are not hitting the ball out of the ballpark.”
Flashing the leather
Toles’ speed has also been on display as part of an outfield, along with Marty Gantt and Joey Rickard, that continues to make huge defensive plays.
All three had a hand in Wednesday’s 6-2 win over Wisconsin. Toles ran a fly ball down in deep right-center field early in the game to prevent a potential extra-base hit. Rickard made a leaping catch at the wall in right in the eighth inning with BG leading by one and the bases loaded. Gantt got in on the action with a running catch in the ninth, crashing hard into chain-link fence in left field.
Sandberg said their defensive success comes from all three being natural center fielders.
“To put them on the corners, that is an advantage for us,” Sandberg said. “They just have to learn the ins and outs of how to react to the ball in left and right field. I think they have all played real well.”
Bowling Green continues the homestand with a three-game series against the Beloit (Wis.) Snappers, the Class A affiliate of the Oakland A’s. It will be the final series against a Midwest League Western Division team this season.
The Snappers won the Western Division in the first half and are 60-37 overall after an 8-5 loss at Dayton on Friday.
Beloit has five hitters with at least 10 home runs, led by right fielder John Wooten’s 15 homers. Second baseman Chris Bostick leads the team in average (.299) and RBIs (67) and is tied for third with 12 home runs.