Eastlake, Ohio — The Lake County Captains lost to the Bowling Green Hot Rods Friday 7-2 despite a strong pitching effort to fall to 6-7 on the season.
The Hot Rods had an opportunity to strike in the top of the first inning thanks to a Zach Rutherford double that plated Brendan McKay and Zachery Law, but a Captains appeal to third base led umpires to rule that McKay missed third base, which removed both runs from the board.
Nolan Jones left no doubt in the bottom half of the first, however, as he sent a Tobias Myers pitch over the left field wall for his first home run of the season, giving the Captains a 1-0 lead.
McKay, the Tampa Bay Rays 2017 first round pick, partially made up for his base running blunder in the third, as his RBI ground out tied the game. McKay was back for more in the seventh, as his RBI single scored another run for the Hot Rods, making it 4-2. He finished the night with two hits and four RBI.
Captains starting pitcher Kirk McCarty, who came into the game with a 12.48 ERA across two starts, delivered 5 2/3 innings of three-run baseball. When McCarty exited, he had just one run charged to him, but Tommy DeJuneas could not get the Captains out of the two on, two out jam, and Adrian Rondon struck for a two-RBI single to give the Hot Rods a 3-2 lead in the seventh.
Coming into the game, the Captains bullpen posted a 2.32 ERA to start the season. That came unraveled tonight as the bullpen combined to give up four runs across 3 1/3 innings. That coupled with DeJuneas’s inability to escape the jam left by McCarty did not equal a good night for the usually strong bullpen.
The Captains will be back in action tomorrow night for the second game of the series.
Photo by Matthew Johns