COMSTOCK PARK, MI- The West Michigan Whitecaps (7-8) scored two runs in the fifth and added two more in the eighth to pull away from the Lake County Captains (5-12) en route to an 8-4 win on Monday night.
The Captains opened the game with three straight singles to take an early 1-0 lead. Catcher Eric Haase drove in his eighth RBI of the year with a single to right field.
Shortstop David Gonzalez laced a leadoff single to right field. Whitecaps second baseman Devon Travis hammered his third round-tripper of the year, a two-run homerun to left field, giving West Michigan a 2-1 lead after one inning.
Lake County plated three in the second inning to take a 4-2 lead. Left fielder Jorge Martinez hit a one out double to right field. Designated hitterMartin Cervenka singled, moving Martinez to third base. Right fielderLogan Vick loaded the bases with a one out walk. Cue centerfielder Luigi Rodriguez, who singled home Martinez and Cervenka before Whitecaps third baseman Mario Martinez committed an error that scored Vick.
With one out in the third, catcher Aldolfo Reina reached on a fielding error by Vick. A wild pitch advanced Reina to third base. Martinez drove in Reina with a sacrifice fly to center field, his seventh RBI of 2013. West Michigan held a 4-3 lead after three innings.
Travis struck again with an inside-the-park homerun in the fourth inning, tying the ballgame at four.
First baseman Lance Durham regained the lead for good in the fifth inning with a two run double to center field, giving West Michigan a 6-4 lead.
Whitecaps’ starter Yorfrank Lopez (2-0, 4.73 ERA) came out of the game in the sixth inning and picked up the win. He allowed four runs (three earned) on seven hits over five innings of work. He walked one batter and struck out three. Righthander and Sandusky native, Brennan Smith entered the game in relief.
Luis Dejesus (0-2, 5.85 ERA) threw five innings in the loss, surrendering six runs (five earned) on five hits. Three batters were walked and three were retired via strikeout. Francisco Valera relieved Dejesus for the sixth inning.
Valera and Smith put up zeroes until Captains manager Scooter Tucker made the move to bring in Felix Sterling for the eighth inning.
After retiring the first two batters, Sterling hit a batter and another reached on a catcher’s interference call. A wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position. Travis continued his hot stick, driving in another two runs with a double. Travis had five of the Whitecaps eight RBI’s.
Valera threw two scoreless innings in relief with Sterling allowing two runs (one earned) in his inning of work.
Smith combined with reliever Jose Valdez to throw four innings of shutout ball for West Michigan.
Lake County outhit West Michigan ten to eight as L. Rodriguez led the Captains with three hits and two RBI’s.
West Michigan will host Lake County for the second game of the series on Tuesday afternoon. Lake County will send LHP Ryan Merritt (1-2, 1.80) to the mound to face RHP Endrys Brienco (0-1, 6.00). First pitch is scheduled for 12:00 PM from Fifth Third Ballpark.