Bowling Green, KY – Oscar Hernandez’s two-out, run-scoring single broke a 3-3 tie in the sixth inning and the Bowling Green Hot Rods went on to defeat the Dayton Dragons 6-3 on Saturday night. The Dragons loss snapped their three-game winning streak and was just their second loss in 12 meetings with Bowling Green this season.
The Dragons trailed 2-0 after five innings before scoring three runs in the top of the sixth to take a brief lead. A double by Ronald Bueno and a walk to Alex Blandino set the stage for a two-run single by Phillip Ervin that tied the game. Tanner Rahier’s two-out single drove in Ervin to give the Dragons a 3-2 lead.
But Bowling Green responded with two runs in the bottom of the sixth and two more in the seventh to build their lead to 6-3. The Dragons put two men on base with two outs in the eighth before Bowling Green reliever William Gabay struck out Rahier looking to end the threat. Joe Hudson led off the Dayton ninth inning with a double to the center field fence, but Hot Rods closer Brian Miller got the next three in order to end the game.
Dragons starting pitcher Nick Travieso left the game with a 3-2 lead but came away with no decision. He worked five innings, allowing four hits and two runs (one earned) with four walks and four strikeouts. Reliever Radhames Quezada (1-1) was charged with the loss. He faced just four batters and departed with one out and the bases loaded in the sixth. Nolan Becker replaced Quezada and allowed a game-tying sacrifice fly and the RBI hit by Hernandez, then two unearned runs in the seventh.
The Dragons finished with eight hits. Bueno and Ervin each had two. Bueno and Blandino extended their hitting streaks to five straight games.
The Dragons continue to stand as the number one seed in the Eastern Division Second Half playoff race, leading Lake County by one-half game and Great Lakes by a full game. The top two teams in the six-team race will qualify for post-season play. There are 22 games remaining.
The Dragons (24-24) and the Hot Rods (21-27) close out the four-game series on Sunday afternoon at 3:05 p.m. EDT. Jackson Stephens (2-4, 4.65) will pitch for the Dragons against Isaac Gil (0-1, 4.97).