LANSING, MI – The West Michigan Whitecaps enjoyed a historic home run by slugger Rey Rivera but blew a four-run lead as part of a 6-4 loss to the Lansing Lugnuts in front of 4,526 fans at Jackson Field on Friday night.
Rivera blasted his 20th homer of the season with one out in the second inning, making him the second player in West Michigan history to hit 20 home runs in a single season. He now sits just one home run shy of the record held by Kelly Hunt of the 2004 Whitecaps.
The Whitecaps jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the second inning when Rivera blasted his solo homer with one out in the frame. Later in the inning, West Michigan loaded the bases when Jake Holton drilled a two-out, three-run double to extend the ‘Caps advantage to 4-0. In the fourth, the Lugnuts blasted a pair of solo homers, as Jordan Diaz cracked his 13th of the season, while Lazaro Armentaros blasted his fourth of the 2021 season to cut the ‘Caps lead in half and bring the score to 4-2. In the sixth, a run-scoring single by Patrick McColl brought Lansing to within a run and cut the ‘Caps lead to 4-3. In the seventh, Will Simoneit roped a go-ahead, two-run single to give the Lugnuts the 5-4 lead, helping them complete their comeback victory. Jonny Butler chipped in an RBI-single in the eighth to provide the Lugnuts with an insurance run and complete the scoring in the contest.
Brandon Withers (3-2) was brilliant out of the Lansing bullpen, tossing three innings of shutout baseball in earning his third win. Chris Mauloni (1-3) was unable to hold the lead in the late innings and gave up three runs in two innings in suffering his third loss. Leudeny Pineda tossed the final two innings for Lansing to earn his first save with the Lugnuts. The Whitecaps record falls to 57-61 as the Lugnuts record improves to 57-61. The loss denies West Michigan the opportunity to finish with a .500 record at 60-60 this season. The Whitecaps finished 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position for the second straight contest.
The Whitecaps play the penultimate game of the 2021 regular season against the Lansing Lugnuts on Saturday at 7:05 pm. West Michigan will start pitcher Zac Shepherd against the Lugnuts Jack Owen. Broadcast coverage with Dan Hasty starts on the Whitecaps Baseball Network at 6:50 pm.Get your tickets for all 2022 home games now at www.whitecapsbaseball.com.