In a game fueled with playoff-style intensity, the West Michigan Whitecaps fought tooth and nail to secure their 10th straight victory with a 2-1 defeat of the South Bend Cubs Friday at Four Winds Field in Indiana.
This is the longest stretch the Whitecaps have gone without a loss since they tied a franchise record with 12 straight victories from August 5-16 of 2010. The Whitecaps’ victory keeps the team with minor league baseball’s longest active winning streak.
The Whitecaps are now 32-19, good for first place in the Midwest League’s Eastern Division. They are two games ahead of South Bend and Lake County, who are tied for second.
Friday’s contest didn’t feature much offense, but included four costly errors by South Bend.
West Michigan’s Will Maddox led off the fourth inning with an infield single and advanced to third on a wild throw by South Bend’s Andrew Ely. Will Allen drove Maddox home with an RBI groundout later in the frame.
Jose Zambrano gave the Whitecaps a much-needed insurance run with an RBI sacrifice fly in the seventh inning. The Cubs scored their only run in the bottom of the inning on a single by Ian Rice.
In the eighth, Whitecaps reliever Toller Boardman escaped a bases-loaded jam by getting Donnie Dewees to hit into a double play to end the threat.
Whitecaps’ starter Beau Burrows (4-3) allowed just one base hit and a walk in six innings to earn his fourth win of the season. Gerson Moreno pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his ninth save.