COMSTOCK PARK, MI - The West Michigan Whitecaps used a six-run fourth inning and dominating pitching in an 8-1 victory over the Cedar Rapids Kernels Friday night at Fifth Third Ballpark.
Wilkel Hernandez provided a solid start, and reliever Angel De Jesus made his most effective appearance of the season as the Whitecaps victory evened up the series at one win apiece. Both teams traded runs early as the 'Caps took advantage of a Kernels throwing error to plate Reece Hampton in the first inning to take a 1-0 lead. Cedar Rapids scored their lone run in the third as Hernandez gave up consecutive singles and balked home the Kernels only run to tie the game at one. The Whitecaps chased Kernels starting pitcher Tyler Palm out of the game in the fourth by exploding for six runs. An RBI-single by Jordan Pearce and a two-run double off the bat of Parker Meadows highlighted the frame and gave West Michigan a 6-1 cushion. The Whitecaps closed out the scoring in the eighth as an Ulrich Bojarski infield single along with a fielding error led to Meadows scoring from second base. The 8-1 score stood as De Jesus saved his best performance of the season with an impressive three innings of one-hit shutout relief to earn his third save with a season-best seven strikeouts.
West Michigan took advantage of four Kernels errors as well as timely hitting, going 5-14 with runners in scoring position. The 'Caps enjoyed base runners in every inning and tallied eight hits as Meadows and Bojarski led the way with two each. Nick Ames picked up a single and now boasts a ten-game hitting streak for West Michigan. The win for the Whitecaps broke a three-game home losing skid. Hernandez (4-2) won his second consecutive start, scattering seven hits and giving up only one earned run. Hernandez struck out three. Palm (1-3) took the loss, surrendering five earned runs, five hits and walking three. The 'Caps improved to 15-18 and enjoyed a victory at home for only the sixth time in 16 games this season. Cedar Rapids fell to 15-19 with the loss.
The Whitecaps conclude their six-game homestand with a Saturday night contest against the Cedar Rapids Kernels at 7:05 pm. Pitcher Carlos Guzman starts for West Michigan against Kernels righty Cole Sands. Broadcast coverage with 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.