The West Michigan Whitecaps found more runs than they had in the first two games of their eight-game road trip but couldn’t take advantage of their opportunities in a 4-3 loss in front of 4,697 fans at Four Winds Field.
The Whitecaps lose a one-run game, dropping their 2019 record in games decided by a single run to 6-29. West Michigan has lost seven of their last eight games, scoring a total of 20 runs during that span – less than three runs per contest after going 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
The Whitecaps opened the scoring with their first home run of the road trip, as Danny Reyes launched his first homer in a West Michigan uniform in the third inning to take a 1-0 lead. In the bottom of the frame, the Cubs answered with a pair of RBI-singles by Andy Weber and Fidel Mejia to take a 2-1 edge. In the fifth, Wenceel Perez tied the game with the ‘Caps only hit with a runner in scoring position in the contest, as a run-scoring single tied the match at two. The Whitecaps went hitless in their remaining ten at-bats with runners at second and third in the game. In the sixth, Cubs outfielder Cole Roederer slammed a go-ahead two-run home run – his third hit of the night and seventh homer of the season to retake a 4-2 lead. A wild pitch in the seventh allowed the ‘Caps to score Rey Rivera and draw within a run at 4-3, but the ‘Caps failed to cash in after a leadoff walk, and stolen base in the eighth by Parker Meadows with none out, and never came closer in the Whitecaps tenth loss in 11 games at Four Winds Field this season.
Marquez (5-4) was magnificent in collecting his fifth victory, while Whitecaps starter Robbie Welhaf (3-6) took his sixth loss of the season by allowing five runs for the second consecutive start with just one strikeout in 5.1 frames. South Bend relief pitcher Brian Glowicki dodged a long flyout to the right-field wall by Zach Malis with two outs in the ninth to end the ballgame and earn his fourth save of the 2019 season for the Cubs. West Michigan falls to 35-73 in 2019 and 14-25 in the second half. The Cubs improve to 59-48 and 22-17 in the second-half standings. The Whitecaps fall eight back of the Cubs for the final Midwest League playoff spot.
The Whitecaps conclude their four-game series at Four Winds Field against the South Bend Cubs on Friday at 7:35 pm. Righty Gio Arriera and lefty Brendon Little get the starts for West Michigan and South Bend. Broadcast coverage with Dan Hasty begins on the Whitecaps Baseball Network at 7:25 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.