FORT WAYNE, IN - Offensive productivity and pitching prowess proved a winning combination as the West Michigan Whitecaps defeated the Fort Wayne TinCaps 4-1 at Parkview Field Tuesday night.
West Michigan took the early advantage with a second-inning Dylan Rosa walk and a stolen base off Fort Wayne starter Osvaldo Hernandez. Outfielder Garrett McCain slapped a solid RBI-single, scored Rosa and gave the 'Caps an early 1-0 lead. Meanwhile, Rodriguez held Fort Wayne in-check early, scattering only two hits in his first three innings. In the sixth inning, two Whitecaps errors and a walk from starting pitcher Elvin Rodriguez forced a switch to righty reliever Wladimir Pinto. Normally the 'Caps closer, Pinto entered early and relinquished a sacrifice fly to tie the ballgame at one but proved brilliant the last 2.2 innings of the game by not allowing a base hit, recording five strikeouts and throwing a season-high 46 pitches.
McCain once again delivered a two-run single in the 'Caps seventh, and infielder Alexis Garcia followed with an RBI-single to increase the lead to 4-1. Garcia proved pesky on the base paths with a career-high three steals on the night - part of a season-high five for the 'Caps. Clate Schmidt worked the ninth inning and picked up his second save of 2018. Pinto (1-0) welcomed his first victory as Whitecaps pitching allowed only one TinCaps baserunner into scoring position the entire game. Rodriguez gave up only one run and scattered six hits in his longest start of the year at 5.1 innings. McCain tallied a career-high three RBIs, and Garcia recorded two of West Michigan's six hits, who moved to 20-17 on the year. Fort Wayne fell to 15-22 with the defeat.
The Whitecaps continue this series at Parkview Field against the Fort Wayne TinCaps with a Wednesday afternoon contest at 11:00 a.m. Pitcher and Detroit Tigers No. 2 prospect Matt Manning starts for the Whitecaps. Broadcast coverage with Dan Hasty and Mike Coleman begins on the Whitecaps Baseball Network at 10:50 a.m. Tickets are available for any Whitecaps 2018 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.