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The Journal Gazette

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette TinCaps shortstop Gabriel Arias fields the ball at second base Tuesday at Parkview Field.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018 1:00 am

West Michigan 4 TinCaps 1

TinCaps can't get offense rolling

Only 1 runner gets into scoring position

DYLAN SINN | The Journal Gazette

TinCaps vs. West Michigan

When: 11:05 a.m. today

Where: Parkview Field

Pitchers: TBA (TinCaps) vs. Matt Manning (Whitecaps)

TV: Xfinity 81

Radio: 1380 AM or 100.9 FM

The TinCaps won the first game of their series against West Michigan despite going 2 for 15 with runners in scoring position. 

On Tuesday, they found that failing to drive in runners is better than not having runners  at all. The TinCaps had only one at-bat with a runner in scoring position and scored just one run en route to their eighth loss in 10 games.

West Michigan's No. 9 hitter, Garrett McCain, had two run-scoring hits, and the Whitecaps evened the series with a 4-1 victory at Parkview Field in front of an announced crowd of 4,185. 

McCain came into the series with six RBI but racked up three Tuesday. His biggest hit came in the seventh inning. With the score deadlocked at 1, a swinging bunt single and an error was followed by a sacrifice bunt, that put runners on second and third for the left fielder, who came in hitting .192. McCain wasted little time, whacking the second pitch up the middle for a two-run single. 

“I was just kind of looking for a pitch I could drive, something I could hit hard with the infield in,” said McCain, who made sure to praise Jordan Pearce for getting the bunt down ahead of him. “Anything hard in the air or low line drive usually gets through, so I was just looking to square a ball up and luckily I did that.”

The hit put West Michigan in front 3-1, and the Whitecaps held on in the late innings thanks in large part to the dominance of reliever Wladimir Pinto.

The right-hander came in with a 0.00 ERA in 111/3 innings and continued his scoreless streak with 22/3 scoreless innings. He struck out five between the seventh and eighth, effectively ending any thoughts of a comeback.

The punchless offense spoiled a another solid start from the TinCaps' Osvaldo Hernandez. The left-hander turned 20 years old Tuesday and pitched like he wanted a birthday victory, giving up just one run on two hits in five innings, while striking out four. 

Hernandez ended up with a no-decision despite continuing his streak of giving up three runs or fewer in every start he has made this season.

Tuesday's start was his start since May 3 after a trip to the disabled list. He hit 94 mph on the radar gun, the hardest he's thrown this season.

“(I want to see him) just attacking,” TinCaps manager Anthony Contreras told ESPN 1380 before the game. “He has an array of pitches he can throw and (I want him) to just stay calm. He can get a little hyper out there on the mound, the game kind of speeds up on him. We just want him to stay calm and pitch his game.”

Hernandez followed that game plan perfectly, working quickly and efficiently – he needed just 77 pitches to get through five – but he did not get any help from the offense, which was shut out into the sixth.

Trailing 1-0, the TinCaps put runners on first and third with one out in that sixth inning. West Michigan then brought in Pinto to face Luis Campusano, and the designated hitter drove a long fly to left that looked as if it would carry out of the park but died at the wall for a loud sacrifice fly.

dsinn@jg.net