Bowling Green Hot Rods starting pitchers Jeff Ames and Taylor Guerrieri keep setting the bar higher.
Both are in the midst of lengthy scoreless inning streaks that have put them at the top of the BG record books.
Guerrieri extended his streak to a franchise-record 22 innings in his last start at West Michigan on July 1, surpassing Parker Markel’s record of 21 innings.
Five days later, Ames went five no-hit innings to pass Guerrieri and set the record at 24 scoreless innings.
“We haven’t talked about it, but a healthy competition is good,” Ames said. “We are going to try to keep going out there and give our team a chance to win.”
Ames is 7-1 with a 1.96 ERA this season. Guerrieri is 6-2 with a 2.06 ERA and was chosen for the Futures Game – a minor league showcase during the MLB All-Star Game festivities – but will not participate at the behest of the Tampa Bay Rays organization, which would prefer to keep the young pitcher on a regular schedule, BG manager Jared Sandberg said.
Ames added that both scoreless inning streaks are a team effort.
“They are putting runs up on the board and making plays behind us,” Ames said. “If we keep doing that, then everything is going to be good.”
Ames’ no-hit bid wasn’t the only big news in the Ames family Saturday.
The pitcher’s older brother, Steve, who pitched at Bowling Green Ballpark in 2010 with Great Lakes (Mich.), was part of the trade last weekend that sent Ricky Nolasco from the Los Angeles Dodgers to the Miami Marlins. Steve Ames made his debut with New Orleans, the Marlins’ Triple-A team, on Monday and tossed one scoreless inning.
“It was kind of a shock,” Jeff Ames said of his brother’s trade. “I come in here to do my arm care. I was kind of checking the score of the game to see what was going on. I get a text message (from Stephen) that says, ‘I got traded to the Marlins.’ I’m excited for him.”
Another prominent member of the BG Hot Rods starting rotation is moving on with Tuesday’s announcement that left-hander Sean Bierman has been promoted to High-A Port Charlotte (Fla.).
Bierman went 5-4 with a 2.69 ERA for Bowling Green, allowing 57 hits in 67 innings of work.
The Hot Rods start a stretch of 12 straight games against Midwest League West Division opponents tonight, beginning with a six-game road trip against the top two teams in the division.
The Hot Rods open a three-game series at Quad Cities (Iowa) at 7 p.m. tonight. BG will then face Cedar Rapids (Iowa) in a three-game series.
Quad Cities, the Houston Astros affiliate, is 50-36 overall and 12-5 in the second half. Cedar Rapids is 53-33 overall and a Midwest League-best 13-5 in the second half.
Quad Cities is led by shortstop Carlos Correa, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 MLB draft. Correa is hitting .325, which ranks third best in the Midwest League, with five homers and 48 RBIs.
2013 No. 1 overall pick, pitcher Mark Appel, was promoted to the Quad Cities Tuesday, but is not listed among the probable starters in the three game series.
“The next four series are going to be a challenge,” BG manager Jared Sandberg said. “It’s the other division. We don’t know much about them. They are good teams with good organizations and good players. We’ll have to regroup after the off day and be ready to play on the road. We’ve played pretty well on the road, so we will see what happens.”