All nine Hot Rods reached base safely and Andrew Toles was a home run shy of the cycle as the Bowling Green Hot Rods (51-37) defeated the Quad Cities River Bandits (50-37) 8-2 to a crowd of 1,661 at Modern Woodmen Park on Wednesday night.
Bowling Green picked up three runs in the second inning. Three straight singles to start the frame gave the Hot Rods their first run. Joey Rickard was the third to tally a base knock by driving in Leonardo Reginatto on a single to right for the first run. Two batters later, Brandon Martin lined a single up the middle to score Marty Gantt, and Toles followed by driving in Patrick Leonard on a base hit to center field as well. Bandits' right-hander Lance McCullers got out of the inning on a caught stealing at the plate. With runners on the corners, Andrew Toles attempted to steal second base, the throw to second from catcher Roberto Pena was off target, but the return toss from shortstop Carlos Correa was in time to catch Martin trying to score from third.
The Hot Rods tacked on a run in both the fourth and fifth innings. Patrick Leonard belted a solo home run (6) into the left field berm in the fourth, and a single from Rickard scored Tommy Coyle to give Bowling Green a 5-0 lead after five.
Quad Cities did not tally a hit after Austin Elkins led off with a single in the first until Jordan Scott lined a single to left field with two outs in the fifth.
Bobby Borchering, making his River Bandit debut, blasted a solo home run over the wall in right for the River Bandits' first run in the sixth inning.
Tyler Goeddel and the Hot Rods returned fire in the seventh. The designated hitter tripled to the gap in right-center, then scored on a groundout to second from Reginatto.
Martin robbed Jesse Wierzbicki of a hit and the River Bandits of at least one run in the seventh. With the bases loaded and two outs, Wierzbicki lined a pitch towards left-center, but a leaping catching by the shortstop Martin ended the Quad Cities threat.
The Hot Rods added two more runs to increase the lead to 8-1 in the eighth.
Rio Ruiz rocketed a deep home run (6) out of right field to the Mississippi River for the Bandits' second run in the eighth.
McCullers (4-5) went four innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and struck out five in suffering the loss. Right-hander Jamaine Cotton started the fifth and allowed one unearned run in two frames. Right-hander Daniel Minor gave up three runs in one and one-third inning after starting the seventh. Right-hander Gera Sanchez tossed one and two-thirds shutout innings to end the game.
Bowling Green starter Blake Snell allowed only the leadoff hit to Elkins in the first, struck out and walked five in four and one-thirds innings. Right-hander Marcus Jensen (6-2) entered with one out in the fifth and allowed one run on four hits in two and two-thirds frames to earn the win.
Quad Cities will send right-hander Vincent Velasquez (6-3) to the mound against Bowling Green's Dylan Floro (7-2) at Modern Woodmen Park on Thursday, with first pitch scheduled for 7:00 p.m.