Captains continue to sink with 8th loss in a row
EASTLAKE - The Lake County Captains are sinking as they dropped their eighth straight game in a 5-2 loss against the West Michigan Whitecaps on Tuesday night.
Starting for the Captains was Elvis Araujo, a left-hander who spent last season with Mahoning Valley. Araujo made it through the first inning, despite a throwing error from shortstop Francisco Lindor that allowed the lead-off runner to reach base.
Taking the bump for the Whitecaps was righty Tommy Collier, who is in his first season with West Michigan. After Lindor hit a one-out single to right in the Captains’ half of the first, Collier was able to get out of the inning when catcher Alex Monsalve tapped into an inning ending double play.
The Whitecaps drew first blood in the second inning as second baseman Brandon Loy reached base and right fielder Steven Moya laced a double off the left field wall. Left fielder Danry Vasquez reached second base after a fielder’s choice throwing error to the plate that allowed both Loy and Moya to score, giving the Whitecaps a 2-0 lead.
Right fielder Jordan Smith hit his third triple in just as many games with one out in the home half of the second and scored as second baseman Robel Garcia hit an RBI groundout, putting the Captains on the board down 2-1.
Left fielder Bryson Myles tied the game up in the bottom of the third as he sent a shot into the left field bleachers for his first home run of the season.
Designated hitter Dean Green reached base in the fourth inning with a walk and first baseman Aaron Westlake followed with a single to left. Loy then reached first on another throwing error by Lindor in a botched douple play attempt, though Westlake was called out at second. Green, who moved to third on the play, went on to score on an RBI single to right off the bat of Moya, giving the Whitecaps a 3-2 lead.
Mason Radeke came in to pitch the seventh inning and end Araujo's night. Araujo finished the game going six innings and allowed six hits, three runs (one earned), and two walks while striking out one. Radeke was greeted by left fielder Jason Krizan with a home run to right, giving the Whitecaps a 4-2 lead.
Ramon Lebron took his talents to the mound as he entered to pitch for the Whitecaps in the seventh. Lebron surrendered a single to third baseman Leonardo Castillo but that was all the damage done by the Captains in the inning.
In the eighth inning shortstop Eugenio Suarez reached base and advanced all the way from first to third on a wild pitch. Suarez went on to score on a sacrifice fly error off the bat of Dean Green that was dropped by the left fielder. Green reached first and advanced to second and then third on two wild pitches, but Radeke settled down to get both Loy and Moya to pop out to end the inning.
The Captains failed to produce a rally in the eighth and righty Grant Sides came in to pitch the ninth. Grant retired the first two batters he faced before surrendering a single to third baseman Colin Kaline before getting center fielder Chad Wright to fly out to end the inning.
Designated hitter Alex Lavisky struck out looking to start the bottom of the ninth and Smith flew out to center before Garcia lined out to center to end the game.
After the game, manager David Wallace made it clear that he was not pleased with his team’s performance.
“Tonight was more disappointing,” Wallace said. “I thought we did not play aggressively, thought we laid back on some balls defensively, and it looked like we were scared to make a mistake.”
One notable performer, however, was Jordan Smith. Smith is currently hitting .314 on the season and has tripled in three straight games. Smith has also hit in all eight games he has played in while posting an OPS of .869.
Wallace said he is not surprised by Smith’s recent performance.
“Maybe the triples,” said Wallace. “But he’s a very good hitter. He’s able to use the whole field. And he can run, he’s deceptively fast. You put the barrel on the ball as much as he does, and good things are going to happen.”
Outfielder LeVon Washington sat for his sixth straight game. Washington underwent an MRI on his hip on Tuesday that revealed a torn labrum, which is the same injury he suffered last season.
The Captains finish off the series with the Whitecaps on Wednesday during a 1:00 p.m. start. Right-hander Will Roberts (1-1, 2.13 ERA) is expected to pitch against West Michigan’s lefty Kyle Ryan (0-0, 4.91 ERA).
Stephanie is a crime and general assignment reporter for The Morning Journal in Lorain, Ohio. She’s an alumna of Cleveland State University with a degree in Journalism and Promotional Communication. You can follow her on Twitter @7thInningSteph.