The West Michigan Whitecaps avoided a sweep of their eight-game road trip by defeating the Fort Wayne TinCaps in front of 3,317 fans by a score of 8-0 Tuesday afternoon at Parkview Field.
West Michigan collects a shutout for the third time during the 2019 season, scoring more runs in the finale’ than the seven they tallied in the previous three games of the series. The game featured a rain delay that spanned over an hour.
The ‘Caps offense kick-started the festivities in the first, as Danny Reyes blasted a three-run homer to help take a 4-0 lead. The blast measured at 395 feet and marked his second home run of the road trip. An inning later, Zach Malis lifted a solo home run down the right-field line to extend the lead to 5-0. After two innings, a driving rain forced both teams off the field, resulting in a rain delay lasting 1:05. In the third, Reyes delivered an RBI-double to take a 6-0 advantage over the TinCaps. Meanwhile, pitcher Chance Kirby took over in relief and tossed six scoreless innings, keeping Fort Wayne hitters off-balance and working out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth in a frame that featured three hit batsmen. In the eighth, Malis capped a two-run frame with a run-scoring single – his third hit of the afternoon – to conclude the scoring and help West Michigan salvage the final game of their eight days away from Comstock Park.
Kirby (4-6) earned a well-deserved victory – his fourth of the season – by allowing just two hits and a walk while striking out two in the longest appearance by a Whitecaps reliever this season. Fort Wayne starter Moises Lugo (0-1) gave up five runs in his only two innings in suffering his first loss as a member of the TinCaps. The Whitecaps record improves to 36-77 on the season with a 15-29 second-half standing. Fort Wayne falls to 51-61 on the year with an 18-26 record in the back half of the season. Malis finished 3-for-4 with his home run and a pair of RBI in the victory.
The Whitecaps head home for a three-game series against the Bowling Green Hot Rods at Fifth Third Ballpark on Wednesday at 7:05 pm. Pitcher Robbie Welhaf starts for West Michigan against Bowling Green righty Shane Baz. 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.