BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – The Bowling Green Hot Rods belted three home runs and took advantage of 11 walks as they defeated the Dayton Dragons 13-2 on Sunday afternoon. The two clubs split the first four games of the 2019 season.
The Dragons were limited to just two hits on the day, although they did hold a brief lead in the first inning. Dayton’s Michael Siani opened the game with a single to center field, stole second and third, and scored on Mariel Bautista’s sacrifice fly to give the Dragons a 1-0 lead.
But Bowling Green’s Connor Hollis hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the first, and Grant Witherspoon hit a two-run shot in the fifth as the Hot Rods built their lead to 5-1.
The Dragons scored in the sixth on Bautista’s second sacrifice fly of the day to make it 5-2, but Bowling Green responded with four runs in the seventh to take a commanding 9-2 lead. Osmy Gregorio hit a two-run homer in the inning for the Hot Rods. In the eighth, Dragons pitchers combined to issue six walks to tie a club record set in 2009. Utility infielder Dylan Harris, in the lineup as the designated hitter, entered the game to pitch to finish the inning, allowing the last of the six walks.
Dragons starting pitcher James Marinan (0-1) was charged with the loss. He worked four innings, allowing three runs on eight hits with one walk and four strikeouts. Julio Pinto followed Marinan and gave up two runs in two innings of work. Connor Bennett worked an inning, surrendering four runs on three hits and three walks. Andy Cox struggled with his control in two-thirds of an inning, allowing five walks and four runs.
Mariel Bautista had a double and two runs batted in to lead the Dragons offense. Bautista has at least one hit in each of the Dragons first four games and is batting .429.
Up Next: The Dragons (2-2) travel to Fort Wayne to begin a four-game series with the TinCaps (2-2) on Monday at 7:05 p.m. (EDT). Lyon Richardson, the Reds second round draft pick in 2018, will make his first start of the year for the Dragons. Fort Wayne will counter with Ramon Perez. The next home game is Friday, April 12 against the Lake County Captains (Cleveland Indians affiliate) at 7:00 p.m. at Fifth Third Field.