COMSTOCK PARK, MI - The West Michigan Whitecaps took an early lead but faltered late as they lost 6-2 to the Quad Cities River Bandits Friday night in front of 6,161 fans at Fifth Third Ballpark.
The Whitecaps used two runs in the third to race to an early advantage, but Quad Cities used two-run innings in both the fifth and the sixth to take their first lead and eventually win the ballgame. The loss enabled the River Bandits to take two games of the three-game set. Starter Chance Kirby was strong in the early innings for the 'Caps, allowing only one base hit through the first four frames. West Michigan struggled against River Bandits starter R.J. Freure, as he struck out six of the first eight batters he faced. The 'Caps broke the scoreless tie in their third inning as Sam McMillan plated Wenceel Perez with an RBI-single, and Andre Lipcius followed with a run-scoring single of his own to increase the lead to 2-0. Quad Cities finally reached Kirby for two runs to tie the game as Carlos Machado delivered a two-run single in the fifth. The River Bandits followed with two more runs in the sixth inning and took their first lead at 4-2 as consecutive singles chased Kirby from the game. The Whitecaps would manage only five base runners over the final six frames of the contest. Quad Cities closed out the scoring with two more runs on two doubles off 'Caps reliever Yaya Chentouf and took the 6-2 victory. In the last 21 innings of the series, the Whitecaps offense scored only two runs.
Kirby (3-5) went 5.1 innings in the loss for West Michigan, giving up four runs on six hits, walking one and striking out two. Freure (5-4) picked up the win, striking out seven, allowing only one earned run and scattering five singles in six frames. Lipcius enjoyed his second straight two-hit night and owns a four-game hit streak. McMillan also chipped in with two hits as both players recorded an RBI. Quad Cities outhit West Michigan ten to seven. The Whitecaps suffered their sixth setback over the last eight games and hold a record of 4-8 in July. West Michigan's season record falls to 29-61 and 8-13 in the second half. Quad Cities improves on a Midwest League-best mark of 55-31 in 2019 and 12-8 in the second half standings.
The Whitecaps continue this three-game series against the Kane County Cougars Sunday night from Fifth Third Ballpark at 6:00 pm. Pitcher Hugh Smith starts for West Michigan against the Kane County Cougars Jackson Goddard. 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.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.