DAYTON, OH – The West Michigan Whitecaps endured a third straight game of scoring just one run as part of a 2-1 loss to the Dayton Dragons in the first game of a six-game series at Day Air Ballpark on Tuesday night.
The loss becomes the fourth straight for West Michigan and drops them to a season-worst three games under .500 with a record of 25-28. West Michigan has only tallied a single run and has produced a total of five extra-base hits during the past three games.
Pitching stole the show on Tuesday, as the Whitecaps bullpen took the responsibility of keeping its team in the game for more than seven innings. Reliever Sandel De La Cruz allowed just one run in 3.1 innings in relief but hit Dragons outfielder Michael Siani with the bases to give Dayton a 1-0 lead in the second. In the third, Cooper Johnson opened the frame with his first home run as a Whitecap – a 415-foot blast to center field to tie the game. An inning later, Dragons outfielder Mariel Bautista blasted a tape-measure home run – recorded at 458 feet to tie the longest homer of the season by a Whitecaps opponent. Meanwhile, the Dragons bullpen combined for three scoreless frames to finish the ballgame.
Dragons starter Jacques Pucheu (3-0) lasted six innings and allowed just one run on five hits while striking out five while striking out four to earn his first win and second against the ‘Caps this season, while De La Cruz (0-1) gave up the deciding run on the homer to Bautista to fall to 0-1 on the year. Daniel Duarte worked a scoreless ninth inning for Dayton to collect his first save. The Whitecaps fall to 25-28 on the season as Dayton improves to 31-23.
The Whitecaps continue their six-game series against the first-place Dayton Dragons on Wednesday at 7:05pm. West Michigan sends starting pitcher Brendan White, the newly named Detroit Tigers Minor League Pitcher of the Month, to the mound against Dragons righty Carson Spiers. Broadcast coverage with Dan Hasty starts on the Whitecaps Baseball Network at 6:50pm. Get your tickets for all 2021 home games now at www.whitecapsbaseball.com.