Hot Rods drop series opener to South Bend

A sixth-inning solo home run and a pair of insurance runs in the ninth by the South Bend Cubs dealt the Bowling Green Hot Rods a 3-0 loss on Monday night at Bowling Green Ballpark.

The Hot Rods (21-16 overall) and South Bend (20-15) played five scoreless innings before the Cubs broke through with Jonathan Sierra’s shot in the top of the sixth – and Bowling Green wouldn’t be able to find an answer.

Wander Franco and Ford Proctor each finished with two hits, while Kaleo Johnson and Grant Witherspoon each recorded the other two hits for the Hot Rods, who snapped a two-game win streak.

Andy Weber led the way for South Bend with a 3-for-4 showing.

After five scoreless innings, South Bend found a spark in the top of the sixth with Sierra’s solo blast. With two outs on the board, Sierra stepped to the plate and sent the first pitch of the at-bat over the wall in right center to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead.

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South Bend doubled its advantage to 2-0 with an RBI triple by Christopher Morel in the top of the ninth, and he later scored on an error to put the Cubs up 3-0 and seal it.

Bowling Green returns to action Tuesday night in the second game of the series against South Bend, with first pitch set for 6:35 p.m. at Bowling Green Ballpark. The Hot Rods are expected to place RHP Shane Baz (0-0, 1.80) on the bump, while the Cubs’ probable starter is RHP Cam Sanders (2-0, 2.48).

Notes: The Hot Rods dropped to 21-16 overall and 12-7 in games at Bowling Green Ballpark this season. … Bowling Green is 4-2 in its last five games. … BG is now 8-4 in series openers in 2019, with four straight series-opening defeats. … Bowling Green is currently tied for first in the Midwest League standings with the Great Lakes Loons.

Tyler Mansfield@ByMansfield

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