Five errors and a pair of bad innings spelled doom for the Rome Braves (8-6) in tonight’s 8-1 loss to the Bowling Green Hot Rods (10-4). The Hot Rods benefitted off defensive miscues in the first and eighth innings, scoring four runs in each frame to pull away from the Braves.
Back-to-back errors followed by two base hits and a fielder’s choice saw Bowling Green race out to a 2-0 advantage before Rome secured the first out in the top of the first inning. The Hot Rods added two more runs later in the first to control a 4-0 lead. The R-Braves finally got on the board in the bottom of the seventh inning when Rusber Estrada belted a solo home run. Bowling Green responded the following half inning by scoring four runs with two outs thanks to a bases-clearing double by Pedro Martinez and an RBI fielder’s choice to stretch their lead to seven runs.
Rusber Estrada stood out among the rest of the Rome offense on Wednesday night. Estrada was 1-for-3 with a home run, his first of the season, and also reached on a walk. The Faulkner University product has shined in limited plate appearances this year but saw his biggest hit come last night at State Mutual Stadium. His seventh inning long ball cleared the left field fence and gave the Braves some momentum before the Hot Rods pulled away in the top of the eighth. Estrada is now leading the team with a .400 batting average.
Ricky DeVito produced another strong start for Rome that was unfortunately tainted by defensive errors. DeVito gave up five hits and one walk in 4.1 innings pitched, but each of the five runs that came across against him were unearned. The Staten Island, N.Y., native has a 1.35 ERA in 2021 and will look for more success in his next outing.