The Rome Braves split the first two games of their road series with the Bowling Green Hot Rods with a 3-2 victory on Tuesday followed by a 14-4 loss on Wednesday. Bowling Green and Rome are back even at the top of the High-A East - South Division standings.
Wednesday: Bowling Green 14, Rome 4
Rome (15-11) jumped on the board first in the second game of the six-game series. Rusber Estrada hit a solo home run to make it 2-0 Braves in the top of the second inning.
However, Bowling Green's bats emerged in a big way during the middle innings, as the Hot Rods put a six spot on the board twice in the fourth and sixth.
In the bottom of the fourth up 4-2, Bowling Green's Ruben Cardenas broke the game open with a grand slam to left field.
The Hot Rods also used patient at the plate to their full advantage in the bottom of the sixth inning, drawing three straight bases-loaded walks before Jacson McGowan's two-run double to right field made it 13-3 in favor if the home team.
Kevin Josephina and Beau Philip each hit solo home runs for Rome in the loss.
A major difference in the lopsided contest was walks. Rome pitching walked 10 Bowling Green batters, opposed to two bases on balls conceded by the Hot Rod pitching staff.
Tuesday: Rome 3, Bowling Green 2
The Rome Braves leapfrogged the Hot Rods into first place in the High-A East - South Standings after taking the series opener 3-2.
Jesse Franklin's solo home run with two outs in the top of the ninth inning provided the game-winning hit for Rome. Indigo Diaz picked up his third save of the season, recording two strikeouts to end the contest.
Kevin Josephina also smacked a solo shot, his second of the year, in the top of the sixth inning to give Rome a 2-1 edge. Bowling Green's Niko Hulsizer connected on the first pitch he saw to left-center field to tie the game 2-2 in the bottom of the eighth, but Franklin's homer would be enough to carry the Braves to win No. 15 of 2021.
Rome and Bowling Green continue their series through Sunday in Kentucky.