Injuries were another big storyline on Sunday, as prior to Sunday’s contest, scheduled starting pitcher Garrett Hill was scratched with an undisclosed injury. In the third inning, Spencer Torkelson left the ballgame with reported hamstring tightness after his first at-bat. Both are considered day-to-day.
Filling in for Hill, Chavez Fernander, Zac Shepherd, Angel Reyes, Yaya Chentouf and Ruben Garcia combined to spin the first shutout tossed by the ‘Caps this season. The win also marks the first series victory for the Whitecaps this season by taking four of their six games this week in Appleton.
At the plate, West Michigan opened the scoring with a sacrifice fly by Jose King to take a 1-0 lead in the fourth. Two innings later, designated hitter Rey Rivera capped a 9-for-18 road trip with a two-run homer – his fourth of the season, and this series – as part of a three-run outburst to give the ‘Caps the 4-0 advantage. The bullpen escaped some tight spots in the fifth and sixth to strand the bases loaded, as Chentouf induced inning-ending double plays in the sixth and eighth before Garcia came into finish the job.
On the mound, Fernander took his spot-start three scoreless innings while striking out four before Zac Shepherd (2-0) tossed 1.2 innings with two strikeouts to earn his second victory of the season. Timber Rattlers starter Justin Jarvis (0-3) took the tough-luck loss despite five innings of one-run ball. The Whitecaps improve to 8-9 while the Timber Rattlers fall to 8-10. Rivera and Eliezer Alfonzo each recorded two hits in the victory.
The Whitecaps head back to LMCU Ballpark for a six-game series with the Lake County Captains beginning Tuesday at 6:35 pm. The Whitecaps send righty Chance Kirby to the mound against a talented Captains offense. Broadcast coverage with Dan Hasty begins on the Whitecaps Baseball Network at 6:20 pm. A limited number of tickets are available for select Whitecaps 2021 home contests by calling the Whitecaps front office at 616-784-4131 or visiting www.whitecapsbaseball.com.