BG Hot Rods continue struggles, lose third straight to Asheville

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. Ruben Cardenas extended his on-base streak to 18 and hit streak eight games as the Bowling Green Hot Rods (12-9) dropped their third-straight game against the Asheville Tourists (11-9) by a score of 9-4 Thursday night at McCormick Field in Asheville, North Carolina. The two teams play again Friday with a 5:35 PM CT first pitch.

The Hot Rods offense jumped on Asheville starter Mark Moclair in the top of the first after loading the bases. Pedro Martinez and Jonathan Aranda both walked and, two outs later, Jordan Qsar walked to load the bases. Niko Hulsizer worked a third BG walk to force home a run, giving the Hot Rods an early 1-0 lead.

Michael Mercado held the Tourists scoreless until the bottom of the fourth, where Asheville scored three runs. Matthew Barefoot hit a solo home run with one out to score the first run for the Tourists. With two outs, Freudis Nova walked and Luis Santana singled. Ramiro Rodriguez singled home Nova and, in the next at-bat, Alex Mckenna singled and scored Santana to give Asheville a 3-1 edge.

Asheville got onto the scoreboard again in the sixth inning against Bowling Green relievers Tanner Dodson and Michael Costanzo, scoring five runs. The Hot Rods scored two runs off Asheville pitcher Juan Pablo Lopez in the seventh. With two outs, Aranda singled and Ruben Cardenas walked. Grant Witherspoon singled home Aranda and moved Cardenas to second. Tourists reliever Devin Conn entered the game and walked Qsar to load the bases. Cardenas came home on a passed ball to cut the Asheville lead to 8-3.

The Tourists added one more run in the eighth inning off Costanzo to increase their lead to 9-3. Cardenas hit a solo home run off Conn in the ninth, but that was all the Hot Rods could muster, losing 9-4.

Mercado (0-3) pitched 3.2 innings, giving up three runs on five hits, while walking two and striking out two in his third loss of the season. Dodson tossed 1.2 innings, allowing four hits and three runs (two earned) while striking out two and walking two. Costanzo hurled 1.2 innings, surrendering two hits, three runs, with two earned and allowed two walks while striking out four. Cristofer Ogando threw 1.0 scoreless inning, giving up one hit and striking out two.