The Hot Rods beat the Loons 5-2 at Bowling Green Ballpark on Friday, ending Great Lakes’ winning streak at six games.
Hot Rods third baseman Kevin Padlo hit his 16th homer of the season, tying him with former Beloit Snappers first baseman Chris Iriart for second-most in the Midwest League. Wisconsin Timber Rattlers shortstop Isan Diaz leads the league with 19 home runs.
Bowling Green has a healthy lead in the race for a second-half Eastern Division playoff berth. The Hot Rods are a half-game behind the Cubs in the second-half standings, but South Bend already clinched a postseason berth by winning the Eastern Division in the first half of the season. The Lugnuts are 7.5 games behind the Hot Rods, while the Loons and the Lake County Captains trail Lansing by 1.5 games.
Griep sets Rattlers record for saves
RHP Nate Griep set a new Wisconsin Timber Rattlers single-season record for saves Thursday when he notched his 20th of the year.
Griep’s mark eclipses that of former Timber Rattlers closers John Thompson and Greg Holle, who each had 19 saves in a season (in 1995 and 2011, respectively).
Griep has a 2.31 ERA with 45 strikeouts and 16 walks in 50.2 innings (43 games) this season.
More ex-MWLers make MLB debuts
Three former Midwest League pitchers made their major-league debuts Friday.
Ex-Timber Rattlers lefty Brent Suter made his debut in a start for the Milwaukee Brewers. He took the loss after giving up four runs on seven hits and three walks in 4.1 innings versus the Seattle Mariners. He struck out two.
Suter pitched 23.2 innings (six games/three starts) for the 2012-13 Timber Rattlers, going 0-1 with a 1.90 ERA, two saves, 24 strikeouts and eight walks.
At Coors Field, Felix Pena and Rob Zastryzny made their MLB debuts for the Chicago Cubs in the team’s 11-inning loss to the Colorado Rockies. Pena, a righty, struck out two in a 1-2-3 9th inning. Zastryzny, a lefty, pitched a scoreless 10th inning despite giving up two singles and a walk.
Pena pitched 10 innings in six relief appearances for the 2012 Peoria Chiefs, giving up five runs and five walks while striking out 10. He returned to the Midwest League the following season, going 4-7 with a 3.92 ERA, one save, 77 strikeouts and 32 walks in 103.1 innings (21 games/17 starts) for the 2013 Kane County Cougars.
Zastryzny briefly pitched for the 2013 Cougars, giving up one run and four walks while striking out six in 9.2 innings (three games) for the 2013 Cougars.
Future SB Cubs set NWL record
The Eugene Emeralds, a Class-A short-season affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, set a new Northwest League record by winning their 15th consecutive game Friday. (The 2011 version of the Emeralds, who were affiliated with the San Diego Padres, held the previous NWL record of 14 wins in a row.) The team is 45-15.
Shortstop Zack Short and third baseman Wladimir Galindo each drove in three runs for the Emeralds. Winning pitcher Pedro Silverio scattered two hits and two walks while striking out six in five scoreless innings.
Those are some players you may see in the Midwest League next season because South Bend is the next level up from Eugene. Galindo leads the team with 8 HR, 35 RBI and 39 runs scored in 52 games, and is batting .249. An Emeralds pitcher of note is lefty Manuel Rondon, who is 6-0 with a 1.11 ERA, 39 strikeouts and 16 walks in 48.2 innings (10 starts).
Chris Iriart has been recently promoted to Stockton so Padlock will soon be the sole HR leader.