GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Three West Michigan pitchers scattered 11 hits as the Whitecaps defeated the Dayton Dragons 3-2 on Sunday afternoon. The Whitecaps have won the first three games of the four-game series, scoring three runs or less in every game.
The Dragons had chances in the eighth and ninth innings to tie the game but could not deliver the big hit. They left the tying run at third base in the eighth and at second base in the ninth.
West Michigan scored single runs in the first two innings to take an early 2-0 lead. The Dragons got a solo home run from Jose Duarte in the third to make it 2-1. Duarte was activated before the game and delivered the home run in only his 12th at-bat of the year with the Dragons.
West Michigan added an insurance run in the sixth to take a 3-1 lead, but the Dragons responded in the eighth. Shane Mardirosian tripled to start the inning and scored on Shed Long’s double to make it 3-2. Long went to third on James Vasquez’s ground out with one out, but the next two hitters, Ed Charlton and Reydel Medina, were both strikeout victims to end the inning.
In the ninth, Duarte singled to right with one out, and Kevin Garcia ran for him at first base. After Luis Gonzalez struck out, Zack Shields walked to move the tying run to second, but Mardirosian grounded out to second to end the game.
The Dragons 11-hit attack was led by Duarte, who had two hits including a home run. Mardirosian was 3 for 5 with a double and triple. Long, Gonzalez, and Reydel Medina each had two hits.
Dragons starting pitcher Jose Lopez was charged with the loss. He worked five innings, allowing three runs on seven hits with two walks and five strikeouts. Dragons relievers Sandy Lugo and Ariel Hernandez combined to work the final three innings without allowing a hit or a run.
The Dragons (13-37) meet the Whitecaps (27-19) on Monday at 1:00 p.m. in the last game of the series. Ty Boyles (0-2, 7.36) will start for Dayton against West Michigan’s Sandy Baez (1-5, 3.28).