BOWLING GREEN, Ky.- Chris Betts hit a three-run home run to lead the Bowling Green Hot Rods to a 5-1 victory over the Dayton Dragons on Friday night. The game was the rubber match of a three-game set and the final meeting of the year between the Dragons and Hot Rods.
The game was scoreless until Bowling Green scored one run in the fourth inning, and they took command with four more in the sixth when Betts hit his 18th homer of the year.
The Dragons trailed 5-0 when they scored in the top of the seventh inning. Miguel Hernandez doubled to left field with one out and scored on Miles Gordon’s single through the middle. But all eight Dayton hitters after Gordon’s RBI single were retired as the Hot Rods held on for the series win.
Dragons starting pitcher Connor Curlis allowed just one run over his first five innings before giving up a pair of home runs in the sixth after two errors had been committed in the inning. Curlis left the game after five and two-thirds, charged with five runs (two earned) on six hits with three walks and three strikeouts. He suffered the loss and fell to 4-5 on the year.
Andy Fisher replaced Curlis to get the final out in the sixth. Fisher worked out of a jam in the seventh and pitched a perfect eighth inning. Fisher went two and one-third scoreless innings, allowing two hits and no walks with five strikeouts.
The Dragons finished the night with six hits. No player had more than one. Doubles by Hernandez and Juan Martinez were the only two extra base hits. The Dragons were 1 for 8 with men in scoring position and struggled early to take the lead. They had a runner at third with no outs in the third, and men at first and third with one out in the fourth, but failed to score in both innings.
Notes: Dragons catcher Morgan Lofstrom was ejected from the game in the top of the second inning by plate umpire Kevin Mandzuk. The Dragons had questioned several balls and strikes calls in the first inning and Lofstrom became furious after a pitch was called a strike as he was batting in the second, resulting in the ejection.
Up Next: The Dragons (22-31, 50-73) travel to Lansing, Michigan to begin a four-game series with the Lansing Lugnuts (28-25, 60-62) on Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. Eduardo Salazar (5-3, 4.52) will start for the Dragons against Lansing’s Cobi Johnson (2-6, 4.39).
The next Dragons home game is Wednesday, August 21 against the Fort Wayne TinCaps at 7:00 p.m. at Fifth Third Field.