Hot Rods Game Notes 4-11-14

Bowling Green Hot Rods (2-5) @ Peoria Chiefs (3-4)

Game 8 Dozer ParkPeoria, Illinois

Friday, April 11, 2014 6:30 PM CDT

LHP Chris Kirsch (0-1, 1.80) vs. RHP Silfredo Garcia (0-1, 2.25)

Radio: 1340 WBGN-AM “The Ticket”

Bowling Green: Home (2-2) / Road (0-3) Peoria: Home (1-2) / Road (2-2)

For Full Notes, Click Here

About Yesterday:

Despite jumping out to a 3-0 lead, the Hot Rods could not end their losing streak, which now stands at five games after yesterday afternoon’s 5-4 loss to the Burlington Bees. Bowling Green scored three runs in the third, one on an RBI single by Armando Araiza, the other two on a throwing error by third baseman Angel Rosa. The Bees struck back for two runs in the fourth, but Darryl George scored on a wild pitch in the seventh to stretch the lead to 4-2. After Mark Shannon homered to make it 4-3 in the seventh, the Bees rallied for two runs in the eighth. Both came across after a ball up the middle was mishandled. Jordan Harrison turned in another fine starting performance, as he worked five innings and allowed just two runs on five hits.

Tonight’s Starters:

LHP Chris Kirsch: The Chester, Pa. native was outstanding in his season debut, as Kirsch allowed just one run on one hit over five frames vs. South Bend last Saturday. He only issued one free pass in the start, and struck out six Silver Hawk batters. Kirsch was a 14th round selection by the Rays in 2012 out of Lackawanna (Pa.) College, and he excelled in the Hudson Valley rotation last season. Kirsch went 4-3 with a 2.94 ERA in 16 starts with the Renegades, ranking amongst the New York-Penn League leaders with 82.2 innings pitched and his sparkling ERA.

RHP Silfredo Garcia: Garcia returns for his second season with the Chiefs, and makes his second start of the season. Garcia allowed three total runs, but only one earned in a loss at Wisconsin on last Saturday. In 2013, Garcia made 18 starts for Peoria, recording a 4-5 record with a 3.82 ERA in 99.0 innings. His best professional season to date came back in 2012 between the GCL Cardinals and Johnson City (Appalachian League). That year, he won six games and posted a 2.44 ERA in 11 starts with 72 strikeouts to four free passes.

Familiar Name, Different Organization:

Hot Rods infielder Kean Wong is a familiar name in Cardinals country, as his older brother is an infielder for St. Louis. Wong, the youngest member of Bowling Green at 18 years old, is starting to make his mark professionally. He enters tonight on a five-game hitting streak. Wong has now hit safely in 44 of his 52 professional games. As a first time pro, Wong led the entire Rays system last year with a .328 batting average while with the GCL Rays after being taken in the fourth round.

Ending the Skid:

On their longest losing streak since the middle of last season, the Hot Rods enter tonight trying to end a five-game slide. The last time Bowling Green had lost more than three games in a row was between May 29 and June 5 of last season, when the club dropped seven contests in a row. That offers a lot of hope, as Bowling Green went on to set a franchise record with 82 wins last season.

Suited for Lead-Off:

Johnny Field seems to be a perfect match for the lead-off spot so far this season. In his six starts, Field has reached base in each game, recording at least one base hit in five of those contests. He boasts a .423 on-base percentage entering tonight, and his plus-speed wreaks havoc on the base paths. While he does not posses a stolen base this season, he has scored two of his five runs from first base, and the former Arizona Wildcat swiped 14 bases in 60 games with Hudson Valley.

 

Hot Rods Game Notes 4-9-14

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The Hot Rods prepare for batting practice prior to Wednesday night’s game in Burlington, Iowa.

For Full Notes, Click Here

Bowling Green Hot Rods (2-3) @ Burlington Bees (3-2)

Game 6 •Community Field•Burlington, Iowa

Wednesday, April 9, 2014• 6:30 PM CDT

RHP Jake Faria (0-0, 0.00) vs. RHP Ryan Etsell (NR)

Radio: 1340 WBGN-AM “The Ticket”

About Last Night:

Both teams received excellent pitching, as Bowling Green’s Blake Snell and Burlington’s Elliot Morris dominated opposing batters. Snell worked four and two-thirds with seven strikeouts, but two runs that were charged to Snell after he left spoiled his night. Morris struck out six batters and allowed just one hit through his five innings as he picked up the win. The Bees got all the offense they would need on a two-run triple by Anthony Bemboom, but they would also add a sacrifice fly to give the game it’s final margin of 3-0.

Tonight’s Starters:

RHP Jake Faria: At just 20 years of age, Faria became the youngest Hot Rod to get the nod on Opening Night since Enny Romero did in 2011. Faria won’t turn 21 until July 30, but he was very impressive on Opening Night. Faria worked into the fifth inning, and did not allow a run. He finished his night with five punch outs and Faria did not walk a batter. He dominated the Appalachian League last season, posting a 2.02 ERA in 12 starts. Faria was a 10th round draft choice in 2011 out of Gahr High School in Cerritos, California.

RHP Ryan Etsell: Etsell makes his first start of 2014, and is still very new to the professional ranks. He tossed 32.0 innings last year with the AZL Angels and Orem, logging a 0-2 record and conceding 11 earned runs. He was a 16th round pick out of Hillsborough Community College, where he went 6-3 with a 1.69 ERA his final season, logging 101.0 innings and striking out 97 batters to just nine walks.

Grand Start for Goetzman:

While his extra-base streak ended last night, Granden Goetzman still found ways to be a pest. He reached base on three occasions (hit-by-pitch, single, walk), as his early-season average continues to hover near the .500 mark. Goetzman has hit safely in all but one of Bowling Green’s games so far this season.

Streak Snapped:

Four games in, Hot Rods outfielder Johnny Field had hit safely in all four games, but was held hitless by Bees pitching last night. He did reach base by drawing a walk, but it was the first time this young season a Hot Rod lead-off man had not collected at least one hit in a contest.

Double-Play Dandies:

The Hot Rods tied a season-high by turning two double plays last night, one on the ground and the other through the air. James Harris came in from right field to run down a blooper and double up Bemboom at first base. On the ground, Pat Blair and Alexander Simon teamed up for a more conventional 6-3 double play.

Sure-Handed Shortstop:

After missing 2013 due to injury Juniel Querecuto is enjoyed a respectable start to his season. As expected, Querecuto has made spectacular plays at short without a misstep, and at the plate he’s showing signs of life as well. Querecuto drove in two runs on Sunday, and had three hits vs. SB.

Hot Rods Game Notes 4-8-14

For Full Notes, Click Here

Bowling Green Hot Rods (2-2) @ Burlington Bees (2-2)

Game 5 •Community Field•Burlington, Iowa

Tuesday, April 8, 2014• 6:30 PM CDT

LHP Blake Snell (NR) vs. RHP Elliot Morris (NR)

Radio: 1340 WBGN-AM “The Ticket”

Bowling Green: Home (2-2) / Road (0-0) •South Bend: Home (0-0) / Road (2-2)

About Sunday:

After pitching dominated the first three games in the series, the bats broke out on Sunday afternoon at Bowling Green Ballpark. South Bend scored three in the first on a bases-clearing double by Michael Perez. The Hot Rods chipped away at the lead, and eventually took a 5-3 lead on RBIs by Johnny Field, Granden Goetzman, and Juniel Querecuto in the fourth. The Silver Hawks would tie the game with runs in the fifth and seventh, and then go ahead with a two-run home run by Stryker Trahan in the 10th. The Hot Rods would put two runners on in the bottom half, but J.R. Bradley recorded the save without allowing a run.

Today’s Starters:

LHP Blake Snell: He was originally scheduled to be the Opening Night starter for the Hot Rods, but a blister forced manager Michael Johns to skip his first start. Snell returns to BG after going 4-9 with a 4.27 ERA last season as a 20-year old. He struck out an astounding 106 batters in just 99.0 innings of work, and finds himself in most top 20 rankings for Tampa Bay prospects. He ranks 10th on MLB.com’s list, and 14th on the chart for Baseball America.

RHP Elliot Morris: Morris was picked by the Angels in the fourth round (127th overall) in the 2013 draft out of Pierce College. He worked 27.1 innings for short-season Orem in 2013, posting a 3.95 ERA and 25 strikeouts. Both Morris and Snell originate from the Seattle area. Morris missed the 2011 season with Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, but opened scouts’ eyes with a  1.76 ERA in 66.1 innings his final season at Pierce College.

Grand Start for Goetzman:

Granden Goetzman enjoyed a great first series of the season, as the Palmetto, Fla. native collected eight hits in just 18 at-bats, good for a .444 average. Goetzman hit safely in three of the four opening games, all of them multi-hit contests. He went 4-5 on Sunday with two doubles and a stolen base, and Goetzman hit two triples on April 4 and scored the winning-run on a wild pitch.

Four for Four Field:

Four games in, Hot Rods outfielder Johnny Field has hit safely in all four games so far this season. In the lead-off spot, Field went 5-17 in the opening series with a triple and four runs scored. Field won the Pac-12 batting title as a sophomore when he helped lead the Wildcats to a College World Series title.

Everyday Johnny:

Johnny Field has hit safely in all three games for the Hot Rods this season. He’s been very effective in the leadoff spot, and sparked the rally that saw the Hot Rods walk-off with a win on Friday night. The former Pac-12 batting champion is batting .333 for an early hot start.

Sure-Handed Shortstop:

After missing 2013 due to injury Juniel Querecuto is enjoyed a respectable start to his season. As expected, Querecuto has made spectacular plays at short without a misstep, and at the plate he’s showing signs of life as well. Querecuto drove in two runs on Sunday, and had three hits vs. SB.

Trahan’s Home Run in the 10th Lifts South Bend to Series Split

Bowling Green, Ky. –A two-run home run by Stryker Trahan in the 10th inning lifted the South Bend Silver Hawks (Class-A/Arizona Diamondbacks) over the Bowling Green Hot Rods (Tampa Bay Rays) on Sunday afternoon, 7-5. The Hot Rods rallied from a 3-0 deficit to take a two-run lead, but the Silver Hawks forced extras. Trahan finished the afternoon with four runs driven in.

South Bend started the scoring in the first. With two outs, back-to-back walks were issued to Trahan and Daniel Palka. After Zach Esquerra was hit by a pitch, Michael Perez hit a double to left field to plate all three, and give South Bend the 3-0 advantage.

The Hot Rods would slowly chip away at that lead. With one out in the second, Pat Blair drew a walk, and later came around to score on a fielder’s choice by Juniel Querecuto. In the third, Granden Goetzman doubled to lead-off the inning. He then stole second base, and scored on a throwing error by the catcher Perez.

Bowling Green would take the lead in the fourth. Blair hit a one-out double, and after Kean Wong reached, Querecuto singled home Blair. Johnny Field would knock a base hit that plated Wong, and the inning’s scoring was completed when Armando Araiza singled to left field to drive home Field. The Hot Rods led 5-3 after four innings of play.

Trahan would bring the Silver Hawks one run closer with a sacrifice-fly in the fifth, and South Bend tied the game in the seventh. Andrew Velazquez drew a one-out walk, moved to second on a base hit by Jamie Westbrook, then scored when Trahan singled to right field.

The go-ahead home run game in the 10th after Westbrook led off with a walk. Trahan then deposited his first home run of the season to the right field bullpen.

The loss spoiled the four-hit day by Goetzman, as he finished the first series of the season with a total of four extra-base hits. Aaron Griffin (1-1) picked up the win on Opening Night, but was handed the loss after working the final inning.

J.R. Bradley (1-0) threw the wild pitch that saw Bowling Green walk-off with the win on Friday night, but he worked a scoreless ninth to earn the win on Sunday.

The Hot Rods have a travel day on Monday, and will now embark on their first road trip of the season. The first leg goes through Burlington, Iowa, and Bowling Green will square off with the Bees beginning on Tuesday night. Blake Snell is expected to take the ball for the Hot Rods. Fans can follow the action on 1340 WBGN – The Ticket, or by listening at BGHotRods.com.

Hot Rods Game Notes 4-6-14

For Full Game Notes, Click Here

About Last Night:

Pitching continues to dominate the series, as both starters had their best stuff working. Chris Kirsch allowed a lead-off double to Andrew Velazquez, but did not allow a hit the remainder of his five innings. Unfortunately, Velazquez scored on a groundout, the Hot Rod offense was unable to generate any runs against Adam Miller who struck out seven in five and two-thirds innings to get the win for South Bend.

Today’s Starters:

RHP Hunter Wood: Impressed in his professional debut with Princeton in 2013. He went 3-3 with a  3.80 ERA, but worked his way into the rotation to close out the season. In his six starts, he went 1-2 with a 2.70 ERA and struck out 37 batters in 26.2 innings. That includes his second-to-last start of the year when he struck out 12 in five innings vs. Bristol on August 23. Overall, Wood struck out 59 batters in just 45 innings.

RHP Blake Perry: Perry was a sixth-round draft choice out of The Pendleton School (Fla.) in 2010, and is now in his second full season in South Bend. Perry, who was born in Danville, Ky., went 8-7 with a 4.49 ERA in 26 games (21 starts) with South Bend last year. He tossed a career-high 112.1 innings, and struck out 85 batters. However, he did issue 67 walks, but held hitters to a .247 average. This is Perry’s second season at the full-season level.

A Streak Ended:

Prior to last night’s defeat, the Hot Rods had not been shutout since June 24 of last season. They lost that contest 1-0 at home against Lake County. Jeff Ames tossed six innings and allowed just one hit, and Lake County did not break through until the ninth. That night, the Bowling Green offense accounted for six hits.

All in the Family:

Wood is the second cousin of Hot Rods General Manager and Chief Operating Officer, Adam Nuse.

Everyday Johnny:

Johnny Field has hit safely in all three games for the Hot Rods this season. He’s been very effective in the leadoff spot, and sparked the rally that saw the Hot Rods walk-off with a win on Friday night. The former Pac-12 batting champion is batting .333 for an early hot start.

Offensive Troubles:

Pitching has been the dominant theme in the first three games of the series, as both teams are hitting below the Mendoza Line. Bowling Green has registered a team mark of .192, while South Bend is hitting just .147 off Hot Rods pitching.

Starter Success:

After Kirsch’s great performance last night, Hot Rods starters have now allowed just two runs in their first three starts, and have only walked three batters in 14.1 innings of work.

 

Wild Pitch Sends Hot Rods to Walk-Off Win

Granden Goetzman tripled twice and led the Bowling Green Hot Rods (Class-A/Tampa Bay Rays) rally that saw two runs cross in the ninth inning, including Goetzman who scored on a wild pitch for the walk-off win on Friday night. Goetzman tripled twice, and drove in two runs to help thwart the South Bend Silver Hawks (Arizona Diamondbacks), who scored three runs in their half of the ninth to take a short-lived lead.

The rally in the bottom of the ninth began with a single by Johnny Field. Goetzman followed with a liner into the left-center field gap, which scored Field from first base. Goetzman sprinted to third for the second of his two triples, and was just 90 feet from the walk-off win. South Bend brought in J.R. Bradley to pitch, and he subsequently threw a wild pitch. Goetzman sprinted home for the game-winning run.

To hear the walk-off wild pitch, click here.

Field and Goetzman teamed up in the first inning as well. Field led off the game for the Hot Rods with a triple, and was advanced home when Goetzman hit his first three-bagger. He would later score when Darryl George forced him home with a groundout to first base.

The Silver Hawks put their first run on the board in the fifth when Joe Munoz hit a solo home run to right field. The run was won back in the following half-inning by the Hot Rods courtesy of a Munoz throwing miscue that allowed Kean Wong to score.

For a time, it looked as if South Bend was going to steal the victory away. The lead remained 3-1 for the Hot Rods until the top of the ninth, when the Silver Hawks rallied to take the lead. Breland Almadova followed his Opening Night home run with a two-run double to tie the game at three, and South Bend would score the go-ahead run on a wild pitch.

Ian Kendall (1-0) stopped the South Bend rally in the ninth, and was rewarded with the win when the Hot Rods plated two in the ninth. He retired the only two batters he faced. Starter Jordan Harrison worked five innings and allowed just one run on two hits in the no-decision. Andrew Hanse tossed three scoreless innings in relief of Harrison.

Daniel Gibson (0-1) did not deliver the final wild pitch, but Goetzman was his responsibility in the ninth and he picked up the loss. He allowed two runs in his one and one-thirds inning.

The Hot Rods have started the season a perfect 2-0, and they’ll look to make it three wins in a row Saturday night at Bowling Green Ballpark. Left-hander Chris Kirsch will take the mound for Bowling Green, and he’ll be opposed by South Bend’s Adam Miller. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m., and the first 1,000 fans through the gates will receive a free magnet schedule, courtesy of HitCents Park Plaza.

Hot Rods Game Notes 4-4-14

For Full Game Notes, Click Here

About Last Night:

The Hot Rods improved to 5-1 all-time in season openers with a 5-2 win over the Silver Hawks. Four of Bowling Green’s five runs came on one swing of the bat, as Oscar Hernandez powered a grand slam off of South Bend starter Aaron Blair in the bottom of the third inning. Jake Faria did not show any sign of Opening Night nerves over his four and one-third innings, as the 20-year old struck out five batters without issuing a free pass before he hit his pitch count. Aaron Griffin relieved him and picked up the win, while Stone Speer worked the final two frames.

Tonight’s Starters:

LHP Jordan Harrison: Harrison worked across three different levels last season, spending most of his time with the Hot Rods. He went 5-2 with a 2.69 in 15 games for BG, including nine starts. He made two cameo appearances with Port Charlotte, and also recorded a 2.73 ERA in 26.1 innings with Hudson Valley. He will celebrate his 23rd birthday next Wednesday, and Harrison was a 25th round draft pick out of Louisiana-Lafayette in 2012.

RHP Brad Allen: The Arkansas State product spent most of his campaign with South Bend last season, and tossed a no-hitter against West Michigan. He went 7-6 with a 4.37 ERA in 20 games (18 starts) while in the Midwest League. He also tossed 11.1 innings with Advanced-A Visalia, but allowed 10 runs on 11 hits, including three home runs. After going undrafted, he appeared eight times for the Florence (Ky.) Freedom of the Frontier League before signing with Arizona.

Hoping for a 2012 Flashback:

The Hot Rods and Silver Hawks opened the 2012 season against each other in South Bend, and it’s also the last time Bowling Green has started the season with back-to-back wins. Jake Floethe got the best of super-prospect Archie Bradley on April 5, 2012, and Felipe Rivero was victorious the next night thanks to a two-RBI night from Cameron Seitzer.

Isn’t it Grand:

Hernandez ended his home run drought in style last night, as his grand slam was his first round-tripper since July 18 of last season, when he was a member of Hudson Valley visiting the Williamsport Crosscutters. Hernandez launched just six home runs in 2013, but his power potential remains high. He captured the Venezuelan Summer League Triple Crown in 2011, and blasted 21 home runs that year.

Piggy Back Pitching:

With Faria skipping a level, he was held to a pitch count of 75 last night. He was just two outs away from becoming the pitcher of record when manager Michael Johns was forced to take him out. Griffin is expected to be the “piggy back starter” on many of Faria’s outings, as well as other long-relief stints.

Ready to Run:

The 2014 Hot Rods have many speedy options up and down their lineup on any given night, and Opening Night offered a preview of that speed. Granden Goetzman stole his first base of the season to help setup Yoel Araujo’s RBI single in the first.

Michael Johns Opening Night Comments

We had a chance to sit down with new Hot Rods manager Michael Johns prior to Opening Night. Johns, who skippered 13 of the current Hot Rods last season in Hudson Valley, is looking forward to his first full-season as a manager.

To listen to the full interview, click here.

Hernandez’s Grand Slam Leads Hot Rods over Silver Hawks on Opening Night

Bowling Green, Ky. - The Bowling Green Hot Rods (Class-A/Tampa Bay Rays) rolled to a 5-2 victory over the South Bend Silver Hawks (Arizona Diamondbacks) in the 2014 season opener on Thursday night. Stellar pitching was backed up by a grand slam by Oscar Hernandez, as the Hot Rods improved to 5-1 in season openers.

The game entered the bottom of the third tied at one when Hernandez stepped to the plate. The frame began with Juniel Querecuto’s single to center field. Johnny Field followed with a base hit to move Querecuto to second, and Grandon Goetzman legged out an infield single to load the bases. That setup Hernandez, who deposited a pitch from South Bend’s Aaron Blair into the left field bullpen for a grand slam.

Listen to the grand slam by clicking here, courtesy of 1340 WBGN – The Ticket

The Hot Rods never trailed, and pushed across their first run of the season in the bottom of the first. With one out, Goetzman sliced a single into right field. He then stole second base, and later scored when Yoel Araujo drove him home with a single to right field.

A wild pitch allowed a run to score for the Silver Hawks in the second, and a ninth-inning solo home run by Breland Almadova gave the game its final margin. South Bend could only muster five hits off of Bowling Green pitching, and failed to produce an inning with more than one hit.

Jake Faria received the Opening Night nod from manager Michael Johns, and he pitched well before hitting his pitch limit. Faria only allowed an unearned run in four and one-third innings of work. He did not issue a walk, and struck out five batters. Aaron Griffin (1-0) relieved him and picked up the win. He tossed two and two-thirds scoreless innings with three strikeouts. Stone Speer added four more strikeouts as the Hot Rods staff combined for 12 in the game.

Aaron Blair (0-1) struck out 10 batters without issuing a free pass, but he conceded five runs on six hits. The fifth-ranked prospect in the Diamondbacks system was handed the loss.

While a double-fireworks show capped Opening Night, another show is on tap for Friday night. Gates at Bowling Green Ballpark will open at 6 p.m., and the first pitch will be hurled at 7:05 p.m. Jordan Harrison is set to take the mound for the Hot Rods, and he’ll be opposed by South Bend’s Brad Allen.

Opening Night Game Notes

For Full Game Notes, Click Here

Tonight’s Game at a Glance:

The Bowling Green Hot Rods embark on their sixth season since moving from Columbus, Ga., and they do so under new ownership. Led by Stuart and Jerry Katzoff, Manhattan Capital Sports Acquisition purchased the Hot Rods, and the changes are already evident. General Manager/Chief Operating Officer Adam Nuse was brought in from the Corpus Chrisi Hooks to lead the team. Professional Sports Catering, critically acclaimed across professional sports, is the new food provider at Bowling Green Ballpark. The park itself is undergoing a facelift, with a new mural already completed just outside the main gates.

The Starters:

RHP Jake Faria: At just 20 years of age, Faria becomes the youngest Hot Rod to get the nod on Opening Day since Enny Romero in 2011. Faria won’t turn 21 until July 30, and he makes the Opening Night start without any experience above Princeton. He dominated the Appalachian League last season, posting a 2.02 ERA in 12 starts. Faria was a 10th round draft choice in 2011 out of Gahr High School in Cerritos, California.

RHP Aaron Blair: The 36th overall selection in the 2013 draft returns to South Bend, and he enters the 2014 season rated as Arizona’s fifth-best prospect, according to Baseball America. He went 0-2 with a 3.57 ERA in three starts with the Silver Hawks at the end of last season, but was 1-1 with a 2.90 at short-season Hillsboro. Blair was chosen in the first round out of Marshall, and is a native of Las Vegas, NV, regularly competing against current Hot Rod, Johnny Field.

Last Hot Rods Opener:

The Hot Rods and Silver Hawks squared off in the opener last year as well, but in South Bend. Bowling Green scored five runs in the seventh to break a 1-1 tie, and went on to win, 8-2. Jeff Ames tossed five innings of just one run baseball, but it was Reinaldo Lopez who got the win out of the bullpen. Joey Rickard drove in three runs from the lead-off spot, and Andrew Toles went 2-4 with a double and RBI.

New Manager

Michael Johns is the fourth manager in Hot Rods history, arriving in BG after spending the 2013 season with Hudson Valley. Johns skippered Princeton prior to his time in the New York-Penn League, and he managed 13 of the current Hot Rods just last season.

Spare Parts

The Hot Rods’ Opening Night roster features two first-rounders, including Blake Snell who returns to BG. He was expected to be the first man out of the gate in the rotation, but a blister has pushed Snell back until after the off-day. He is expected to start Tuesday against the Burlington Bees. Snell is rated as Tampa Bay’s sixth-best prospect by MiLB.com.

James Harris joined Snell in the 2011 draft class, and he’ll get his first taste of full-season baseball tonight. Harris played for his current skipper last season at Hudson Valley, where he hit .258 with 21 RBIs and 16 stolen bases. Harris is a graduate of the same high school as Rickey Henderson and Curt Flood (Oakland Tech).

 

 

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