COMSTOCK PARK, MI - The West Michigan Whitecaps allowed a season high 19 hits and struggled against good pitching in a 10-1 defeat to the Bowling Green Hot Rods in front of a season-best 6,341 fans Wednesday morning at Fifth Third Ballpark.
Bowling Green brought a four-game losing streak into the series finale and wasted no time in touching 'Caps starter Alfred Gutierrez for a run on three singles in the first inning. Gutierrez settled down to retire the next eight batters but the Hot Rods answered again with runs in the third and fourth, as Emilio Gustave tallied a two-run single and Robbie Tenerowicz launched a three-run home run to left-center field. After four innings, the Hot Rods held a 6-0 edge.
Offensively, the Whitecaps failed to gain any ground on Bowling Green starter Travis Ott who proved masterful in seven strong innings. Ott scattered six hits - - all singles, only walked two and struck out a season high 10 batters. The 'Caps managed to tally their lone run of the game in the seventh inning. Cam Gibson stroked a single to right field and raced to third base when Hot Rods right-fielder Emilio Gustave let the baseball slip under his glove for an error. Jake Robson promptly placed an RBI-single to deep shortstop and beat the throw to first base, scoring Gibson and cutting the Bowling Green lead to 6-1. The Hot Rods increased the margin to 9-1 with a three-run home run in the eighth by Jesus Sanchez who deposited the first pitch from 'Caps reliever Tom de Blok over the right-center field fence. A solo run in the ninth inning finished the scoring and enabled the Hot Rods to improve to 17-20 on the year. West Michigan saw their bid for a season-best seven game win streak fall as their record fell to 26-13.
MOVIN' ON UP
The Whitecaps saw two of their top pitchers earn a promotion to the High-A Lakeland Flying Tigers of the Florida State League on Wednesday morning. Kyle Funkhouser and Bryan Garcia both got the call-up before Wednesday's ballgame. Funkhouser (#5) and Garcia (#22) were both ranked Top-30 Detroit Tigers Prospects by Baseball America heading into the season. Funkhouser went 4-1 with a 3.16 ERA while striking out over 14 batters per nine innings - best among starting pitchers in the Midwest League. Garcia went 1-2 with a 3.14 ERA with a Midwest League lead nine saves while striking out 27 batters in 14.1 innings. In correspondence with the promotions, pitchers Jake Shull and Spenser Watkins have returned to the Whitecaps from Lakeland.
The Whitecaps head to Lake County for a four-game series against the Lake County Captains beginning Thursday at 6:30p.m. Whitecaps pitcher Anthony Castro gets the start against Captains lefty Juan Hillman. Broadcast coverage with Dan Hasty begins on the Whitecaps Baseball Network at 6:20p.m. Tickets can be reserved for any Whitecaps 2017 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.