LANSING, MI - West Michigan Whitecaps pitcher Garrett Hill's bid to make franchise history was foiled by shaky defense a 4-2 defeat by the Lansing Lugnuts Monday night at Cooley Law School Stadium.
Hill, who entered Monday's game with an active scoreless innings stretch of 26 frames, cruised into the second inning of a scoreless tie when shortstop Wenceel Perez committed an error with two outs in the frame that led to an RBI-triple by infielder Rafael Lantigua to give the Lugnuts a 1-0 lead, and snapped the streak at 27.2 innings. The longest scoreless innings streak in franchise history by a starter remains intact for 1998 Whitecaps pitcher Greg Romo, who tallied 31.1 consecutive scoreless frames.
The Whitecaps responded with their first run in the third when Reece Hampton stroked a run-scoring single into center field to plate Jose King and tie the game at one. The score remained the same until the seventh when a bloop-single by McGregory Contreras scored Nick Podkul to break the 1-1 tie. Tanner Kirwer followed with a sacrifice bunt that scored a pair of runs due to a throwing error by first baseman Jordan Pearce to help the Lugnuts take a 4-1 advantage. Nick Ames extended his hitting streak to 13 games with an RBI-double to give West Michigan a run in the eighth, but the 'Caps failed with runners at second and third with none out. Ulrich Bojarski and Parker Meadows struck out before Jordan Pearce had a potential two-run single wiped away with a diving play by Lantigua to end the threat.
Winckowski (3-1) tossed seven stellar innings, allowing one run while striking out four in earning his third win of the 2019 season. Hill (2-1) allowed four runs (two earned) in 6.1 frames and struck out seven in taking his first loss as a Whitecap. Jackson Rees tossed a scoreless ninth and worked out of a 'Caps scoring threat to earn his first save of the season. West Michigan falls to 16-19 with the defeat while Lansing improves its record to 15-21 in 2019. Hampton led the 'Caps offense with a three-hit performance. As a team, the Whitecaps had three at-bats in the game's final three innings with runners at second and third base with less than two outs and went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts.
The Whitecaps continue this three-game series against the Lansing Lugnuts with a Tuesday morning contest at 10:35 am. Pitcher Gio Arriera starts for West Michigan against Lansing righty Josh Hiatt. Broadcast coverage with Dan Hasty 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.