The Bowling Green Hot Rods completed a sweep of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers with a 7-0 win Friday at Bowling Green Ballpark.
Reinaldo Lopez tossed seven scoreless innings, and the Hot Rods offense gave him plenty of support, pounding out 13 hits.
"To get the sweep is nice," BG manager Jared Sandberg said. "We are playing really good baseball right now. We are a fun team to watch."
Lopez flirted with danger, allowing eight hits, but had three double plays turned behind him and struck out five Wisconsin hitters. It was the fourth straight quality start for Lopez, who improved to 5-4 on the season, and the third straight game a BG starting pitcher worked seven innings. No starter had worked beyond six innings in the previous 93 games.
"He pitched extremely well," Sandberg said. "He had good depth on his fastball. The slider had good bite, and he threw some good change-ups too. He was in the zone, and we were a little bit lucky too. We got three line drive double plays and a nice barehand play by (shortstop) Brandon Martin to help Reinaldo out. He was able to pitch with the lead, too, and I think that helped him stay under control."
Lopez said the game plan was simple – two-seam fastballs inside and sliders away.
"I was working my fastball, keeping it down, and tried to mix my pitches," Lopez said. "I'm very comfortable with my defense behind me. I know if I pitch to contact, I have people behind me that can help me get people out."
Lopez turned it over to Stone Speer, who tossed two scoreless innings – striking out the side in the ninth.
The offense provided plenty of pop, scoring in four innings.
Bowling Green (57-39, 19-9 second half) got a run in the first and added two runs in the second – including an RBI double by Patrick Leonard.
Tyler Goeddel tripled home a run, then scored on an RBI single by Luke Maile in the fourth to stretch the advantage to 5-0.
The Hot Rods capped the scoring with two runs in the seventh, including Justin O'Conner's team-leading ninth homer of the season.
Every BG batter had at least one hit and every hitter either scored a run or drove in a run.
Joey Rickard led the way with three hits. O'Conner and Leonard added two hits, while Goeddel finished with two RBIs.
"That's tremendous production," Sandberg said. "The execution was there too. We had four chances with a runner on second base and no outs and moved them over. We were 4-for-4 in that situation. We were 4-for-5 with a runner on third and less than two outs, so the offensive execution was there.
"We had some very competitive at-bats, some quality at-bats. We hit the ball hard."
Bowling Green returns to action at 7:05 p.m. tonight when it begins a three-game series with Beloit (Wis.). Right-hander Jeff Ames (7-2, 2.27) will take the mound for the Hot Rods, facing Beloit right-hander Dylan Covey (0-1, 1.80).