The West Michigan Whitecaps fell victim to a dominant pitching performance as they failed to rally in the late innings falling 3-2 to the Dayton Dragons Tuesday night in front of 4,246 fans at Fifth Third Ballpark.
Dragons starter Ricky Salinas – who had given up 13 runs in his past three starts – worked a season-high six innings allowing only a pair of Whitecaps to reach the base in the win.
The Dragons struck first as Pabel Manzanero plated Miles Gordon on a first-inning run-scoring single to take a 1-0 lead. Dayton added to their lead in the second as Michael Siani laced a two-run single to extend the advantage to 3-0. West Michigan managed only three hits until the sixth inning when Avery Tuck laced a single into centerfield plating Jose King and slimming the Dayton lead to 3-1. In the eighth, Tuck recorded his second RBI on the night lifting a pop up to right field that was lost in the night sky and fell safely between three Dragons players, scoring Hector Martinez to trim the ‘Caps deficit to 3-2. With runners at the corners, Vinny Esposito struck out swinging to end the threat and keep the Dragon lead at 3-2 going into the ninth. Sam McMillan reached base on a walk in the bottom of the ninth with two outs before Parker Meadows popped out to end the potential rally and hand the ‘Caps a 3-2 loss.
Salinas (2-3) pitched six innings allowing only a run on five hits with five strikeouts in his second win of the 2019 season. Alexis Diaz tossed two innings of relief allowing one run on three hits before Eddy Demarius slammed the door in the ninth with no base hits on one walk to record his first save on the year. Whitecaps starter Adam Wolf (2-7) tossed 4.2 frames allowing three runs to cross on eight hits in his seventh loss of the season. The West Michigan Whitecaps fall to 20-38 while the Dayton Dragons improve to 19-39.
The Whitecaps three-game series at Fifth Third Ballpark against the Dayton Dragons continues Wednesday at 7:05 pm. Pitcher Robbie Welhaf gets the start for West Michigan against Dayton righty Jared Solomon. Broadcast coverage with Dan Hasty begins on the Whitecaps Baseball Network at 6:55 pm. Tickets are available for any Whitecaps 2019 home contest by calling the Whitecaps front office at 616-784-4131 or by visiting www.whitecapsbaseball.com.