The Bowling Green Hot Rods rallied for three runs in the top of the 9th inning Wednesday to beat the South Bend Silver Hawks 4-1 and clinch a playoff berth. They will host either the Silver Hawks or the Fort Wayne TinCaps at Bowling Green Ballpark for Game 1 of the Midwest League Eastern Division Quarterfinals next Wednesday.
The remaining Eastern Division playoff spot likely will go to the Great Lakes Loons, who are in the midst of a three-game home series against their closest competitor, the Dayton Dragons. The Loons can clinch the playoff spot if they beat the Dragons tonight.
The race for the last playoff spot in the Western Division remains tight, with the Clinton LumberKings up one game over the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers and two games up on the Peoria Chiefs with five games left in the season. The Chiefs beat the LumberKings 7-6 in 12 innings Wednesday, snapping their six-game losing streak and extending Clinton’s losing streak to seven games. Those two teams play each other again tonight and tomorrow.
The Timber Rattlers lost 4-2 to the Quad Cities River Bandits. The River Bandits, the Cedar Rapids Kernels and the Beloit Snappers are the three Western Division teams that already earned playoff berths.
Elsewhere in the Midwest League on Wednesday, West Michigan Whitecaps LHP Jordan John struck out 13 batters in six innings, rehabbing Chicago Cubs pitcher Scott Baker gave up only one hit and no walks in five innings for the Kane County Cougars, 17-year-old Los Angeles Dodgers prospect Julio Urias gave up only two hits and no walks in four innings for the Loons, and Dalton Pompey hit a grand slam and two doubles to lead the Lansing Lugnuts to an 11-2 win over the Lake County Captains.
Walker to make MLB debut Friday
The Seattle Mariners announced that they will call up RHP Taijuan Walker to make his major-league debut Friday. Walker, widely considered Seattle’s top prospect, went 6-5 with a 2.89 ERA and 113 strikeouts in 96.2 IP for the 2011 LumberKings.
In other news about former Midwest League pitchers:
LHP David Holmberg struggled in his major-league debut Tuesday. The Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher gave up three runs on six hits and three walks in 3.2 IP. He went 8-3 with a 2.39 ERA and 81 strikeouts in 83 IP for the 2011 Silver Hawks.
RHP Dakota Bacus pitched well in his debut for the Hagerstown Suns. He gave up one hit, walked four and hit two batters in six scoreless innings, for which he earned a win. He was traded from the Oakland Athletics to the Washington Nationals last week after going 9-5 with a 3.56 ERA and 90 strikeouts in 121.1 IP for the Snappers this season.
A trio of former Peoria Chiefs pitchers threw a seven-inning no-hitter for the Daytona Cubs on Tuesday. LHP Kyler Burke pitched five innings, RHP Ben Wells pitched one inning, and RHP Zach Cates pitched one inning. All three pitchers played for the Chiefs in 2012. Additionally, Cates pitched for the TinCaps in 2011 and Burke played outfield and/or first base for the 2007 TinCaps and the 2008-09 Chiefs.