LANSING, MI - Starting pitcher Gio Arriera gave up five runs in just 1.1 innings, and the West Michigan Whitecaps never recovered as part of a 6-5 loss to the Lansing Lugnuts on Tuesday morning at Cooley Law School Stadium.
Arriera threw more than 30 pitches in a lengthy first inning and left in the second after allowing seven hits and five runs while walking three to elevate his season ERA to 7.83. Tuesday marked the third consecutive start in which Arriera allowed five runs, and the shortest appearance by a West Michigan starter this season.
The Whitecaps scored the first run of Tuesday's contest when Chris Proctor roped an RBI-single to give West Michigan a 1-0 lead. In the bottom of the frame, the Lugnuts first five hitters recorded hits against Arriera, highlighted by a run-scoring double from Nick Podkul and a two-run single by Ryan Gold to give Lansing a 3-1 lead. Johnny Valente's sacrifice fly cut the 'Caps deficit to 3-2 in the second, but Lansing responded with two more runs later in the frame. An RBI-single by Otto Lopez and a double-steal allowing Podkul to take home plate extended the Lansing lead to 5-2. In the sixth, Gold added a run-scoring single to reach base for the fourth time and to strengthen the Lugnuts lead to 6-2. The Whitecaps scored three runs in the seventh to narrow the deficit to 6-5, highlighted by a run-scoring single from Ulrich Bojarski but were unable to even the score as the last eight 'Caps hitters were retired in order to end the contest.
Reliever Marcus Reyes (1-1) tossed three scoreless innings to earn his first 2019 victory, while Arriera (2-2) suffered his second loss. Sean Rackoski pitched the final 1.2 innings of scoreless relief to earn his second save of the season. West Michigan falls to a season-low four games under .500 at 16-20 with the defeat while Lansing improves to 16-21 in 2019. Proctor, Bojarski and Jordan Pearce led the Whitecaps offense with two hits and an RBI in a losing cause. Lansing outfielder Reggie Pruitt finished a home run shy of the cycle while scoring three runs, stealing two bases and taking away a two-run single by Wenceel Perez with a terrific first-inning diving catch in center field.
The Whitecaps and Lugnuts wrap up their three-game series with a second straight morning contest beginning at 10:35 am on Wednesday. Lefty Kacey Murphy starts for West Michigan against Lansing righty Troy Miller. Broadcast coverage with Dan Hasty and Nate Wangler begins on the Whitecaps Baseball Network at 10:25 am. 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.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.