Five batters had multiple hits for the Bowling Green Hot Rods in a 10-2 victory over the Wilmington Blue Rocks on Thursday night at Bowling Green Ballpark.
The Hot Rods (80-36) fell behind in the first inning when Wilmington (52-62) scored against starting pitcher Carlos Garcia, but the righty settled in. After allowing a leadoff walk in the second, Garcia recorded 12 straight outs.
The Hot Rods' offense sparked in the third with a pair of runs to take a 2-1 lead, and never looked back.
Additional runs in the fourth and fifth extended the lead to 5-1, Bowling Green. While Wilmington cut it to a three-run game with a homer in the sixth, Jordan Qsar struck back with a two-run shot off Blue Rocks reliever Gilberto Chu to make it an 8-2 game.
The Hot Rods scored two runs in the eighth with Qsar landing an RBI triple to left with Bowling Green going on to win 10-2, evening the series.
Garcia (8-2) earned a win after tossing five innings while holding the Blue Rocks to one run on two hits with a walk and five strikeouts. Michael Mercado allowed a run on a hit to the first batter he faced before setting down six straight in his two innings of work with four strikeouts. Angel Felipe held Wilmington hitless over his inning of scoreless work with a strikeout. Alan Strong allowed two hits in the ninth, but struck out the next three hitters to finish the game.
The Hot Rods and Blue Rocks continue their series with a 6:35 p.m. first pitch on Friday. Right-hander Taj Bradley (3-0, 2.14) takes the mound for the Hot Rods against righty Cole Henry (3-3, 1.89) for Wilmington.
Notes: The Greensboro Grasshoppers will officially be the Hot Rods opponents in the High-A East Championship series next week… The series begins on Tuesday and Wednesday with two games in Greensboro, N.C., before returning on Friday and potentially Saturday and Sunday for three games in Bowling Green.