Chris Betts hit two home runs while Kaleo Johnson came up big late in the Bowling Green Hot Rods’ 8-5 win over the Great Lakes Loons in a 13-inning contest Thursday night in Midland, Mich.
Betts boosted the Hot Rods (8-7) to a three-run lead with a pair of homers, the first of which was off Loons starter Guillermo Zuniga in the second inning. In the seventh, Betts struck again with Wander Franco on second, bashing his fourth homer of the season to make it 3-0.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Loons rallied for two runs and then forced extra innings in the ninth with a run.
The Hot Rods broke the tie in the 12th against Loons reliever Justin Hagenman and Joel Inoa. With Connor Hollis starting the frame on second base, Johnson drove a two-strike pitch over the left-field wall to give the Hot Rods a 5-3 lead. In the bottom of the frame, the Loons tied the game to force a 13th inning.
Bryce Brown started the inning on second base with Inoa still on the mound for the Loons and scored with one out when Ford Proctor dumped a single into left, giving the Hot Rods a 6-5 edge. Betts walked and a wild pitch moved both runners up a base. With two outs, Johnson drove his second extra-base hit of the game to left, scoring both runners and extending the Bowling Green lead to 8-5. Trey Cumbie struck out the side in the bottom of the 13th to earn the save.
Michael Plassmeyer took a no decision, tossing six scoreless innings while allowing five hits and two walks with seven strikeouts. BG’s Cristofer Ogando (1-0) earned the win, holding the Loons to one hit and four walks with two runs (one earned) and two strikeouts.
The Hot Rods continue their series with Great Lakes on Friday beginning with a 5:05 p.m. CT first pitch. The Hot Rods will send RHP Caleb Sampen (1-1, 4.15) to the mound while the Loons will counter with RHP Jeronimo Castro (1-0, 0.00).
Snell named to Hot Rods Hall of Fame
The Hot Rods, Class-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays, announced Thursday that 2018 American League Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell has been elected to the Hot Rods Hall of Fame by the selection committee.
Snell’s induction and the unveiling of his plaque will take place, in addition to the Hot Rods’ Snellzilla bobblehead giveaway, on June 7.
Snell spent parts of two seasons (2013 and 2014) on the mound with Bowling Green, climbing his way into the franchise’s record books in the process. During the 2013 season, the lefty posted a 4-6 record with a 4.27 ERA and led the team in strikeouts with 106 over 99 innings of work.
He returned in 2014, started eight games for the Hot Rods and overwhelmed his Midwest League opponents. Snell went 3-2 with a 1.79 ERA while striking out 42 batters over 40.1 innings of work. He holds the club record for career starts (31) and is third on the career strikeouts list with 148.
Snell, who made his MLB debut in 2016, joins pitcher Matt Moore and outfielder Kevin Kiermaier as the third member of the club’s Hall of Fame. Moore and Kiermaier were selected in last year’s inaugural class.