A pair of home runs from the West Michigan Whitecaps fell short in a 10-3 loss to the Great Lakes Loons on a muggy Sunday at Fifth Third Ballpark.
Solo home runs in the first two innings by Parker Meadows and Rey Rivera gave the Whitecaps some early momentum, but a three-run home run and two-RBI double provided some muscle for the Loons in the victory.
After Meadows seventh home run of the year off Great Lakes starter Jack Little tied the game at one in the first inning, the Loons scored two in the second off ‘Caps starter Austin Sodders. Rivera belted his fourth home run of 2019 in the second to make it a 3-2 game, but Great Lakes answered with a Chris Roller three-run homer in the fourth frame against Whitecaps reliever Sandel De La Cruz to increase the margin to 6-2. Four more Loons run in the seventh on three hits and two walks off Whitecaps reliever Drew Crosby pushed the Loons advantage to 10-2. West Michigan closed out the game’s scoring in their eighth inning. Meadows and Andre Lipcius set the table with singles, and Whitecaps RBI leader Ulrich Bojarski delivered an RBI-single to score Meadows and bring the score to 10-3.
Sodders (0-1) allowed four singles, three walks and three earned runs in two starter innings and took the loss. Jose Chacin (10-6) a pitcher the Whitecaps have had success against in 2019, proved brilliant in relief for the Loons, allowing only one earned run on four hits while striking out a season-high eight. The Whitecaps were outhit 12-7, with Meadows and Daniel Reyes recording two-hit nights. With the loss, their third straight, West Michigan tumbles to 34-70 on the year and 13-22 for the Midwest League’s second half. Great Lakes boasts the second-best record in the Midwest League at 64-38 and 21-14 since the All-Star break. The Whitecaps have lost 50 of the 54 games they’ve played when they score less than three runs.
This three-game series against the Great Lakes Loons concludes Monday at 7:05 pm. Righty Brad Bass gets the start for West Michigan against Loons pitcher Robinson Ortiz. Broadcast coverage with Dan Hasty and Mike Coleman 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.