Bowling Green, KENTUCKY – The Bowling Green Hot Rods earned their ninth win in their last 10 games as they defeated the Dayton Dragons 4-2 on the Fourth of July. The game was the first of back-to-back contests in Kentucky.
Bowling Green took command early in the game and then held back a Dragons comeback bid. The Hot Rods scored two runs in the first inning, one in the second, and one more in the third to take a 4-0 lead.
The Dragons had a productive fifth inning to get back within striking distance. Bren Spillane walked to start the inning and went to second on a single by Miguel Hernandez. Claudio Finol reached on an error to load the bases with no one out, and Mariel Bautista lined a single to center to drive in Spillane and make it 4-1. After Miles Gordon lined out to second, Jay Schuyler drew a bases-loaded walk to force in Hernandez and pull the Dragons to within two. But Pabel Manzanero grounded back to the pitcher, who threw home to get the lead runner for the second out. Brian Rey grounded out to shortstop to end the inning.
The Dragons could never mount another serious threat. After the fifth, they did not have a runner past first base until the ninth inning when Finol reached on an infield single with one out and went to second on a wild pitch. But Bautista struck out on a 3-2 pitch after fouling off several pitches, and Gordon also struck out to end the game.
Dragons starting pitcher Connor Curlis (2-3) struggled early before rebounding to give the club five innings. He allowed four runs (three earned) on five hits with no walks and seven strikeouts. Curlis retired 10 of the last 11 batters he faced.
Eduardo Salazar replaced Curlis to start the sixth and tossed three scoreless innings. He allowed just one hit with two walks and three strikeouts. Bowling Green had only one hit after the third inning.
The Dragons finished the night with six hits. No player had more than one.
Up Next: The Dragons (5-9, 33-51) meet the Hot Rods (11-3, 50-34) again on Friday at 7:35 p.m. (EDT). Jhon De Jesus (1-7, 4.73) will start for the Dragons against Bowling Green’s Shane Baz (3-0, 1.85).
The Dragons return home to open a nine-game, 10-day home stand on Saturday night against the South Bend Cubs at 7:08 p.m.
On the Air: All Dragons games are broadcast on radio on Fox Sports 980 WONE AM. Games can be heard on smart phones, iPads, and other mobile devices via the free Dragons Mobile App, or on a computer at wone.com. Games are also available on HD Radio on 104.7 WTUI HD 2.
All Saturday and Sunday home games are televised on Dayton’s CW (channel 26; Spectrum cable channels 13 and 1013).