BOWLING GREEN, KY - The West Michigan Whitecaps continue to search for answers after being swept for the second time in the past week as part of a 4-0 loss to the Bowling Green Hot Rods Monday at Bowling Green Ballpark.
The sweep sends West Michigan to their second losing streak of seven or more games this season and places them one loss away from tying a season-long skid of eight that occurred from May 22-29. It also clinches the highest West Michigan loss total for one-half of play in franchise history with 44 defeats in 2019.
Whitecaps starting pitcher Chance Kirby retired the first seven batters he faced but ran into trouble in the third as Michael Smith bounced a two-run single through a drawn-in infield to give the Hot Rods a 2-0 lead. Kaleo Johnson's double plated Wander Franco from first base later in the frame to extend the lead to 3-0. In the seventh, Roberto Alvarez capped a three-hit day with his third home run of the year on a line drive over the right-field wall to push the Bowling Green lead to 4-0. Meanwhile, the Whitecaps offense failed to support Kirby, tallying just four hits in being shut out for the fifth time in their last 18 games.
Kirby (1-3) posted a quality start in tossing six innings and allowing three runs while striking out six in suffering his third loss on the mound, while Bowling Green pitcher Caleb Sampen (4-3) tossed seven shutout frames and struck out four in earning his fourth win of 2019. The loss drops the Whitecaps record to 20-44 while Bowling Green improves to 38-26. West Michigan shortstop Wenceel Perez managed the only multi-hit performance of the ballgame by going 2-for-4 with a double in a losing cause. The Whitecaps have managed just 126 extra-base hits this season - the second-lowest total in the Midwest League.
The Whitecaps head north to open a three-game series against the Dayton Dragons beginning Tuesday at 7:05 pm. Pitcher Adam Wolf gets the start for West Michigan against Dayton pitcher Jhon De Jesus. Broadcast coverage with Dan Hasty starts 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.