By Andrew Johnson
COMSTOCK PARK – The West Michigan Whitecaps’ winning streak wasn’t going to last forever – and it ended on Wednesday with a loud thud.
Bowling Green rolled to a 10-1 victory over the Whitecaps at Fifth Third Ballpark, salvaging one game of the three-game series and ending the Caps’ win streak at six games.
The visiting Hot Rods scored in five different innings, and used a pair of three-run homers to bury the Whitecaps.
“It’s going to happen,” said Whitecaps manager Mike Rabelo. “It’s inevitable. The guys played hard and we didn’t make any errors. Their home runs killed us.”
West Michigan dropped to 26-13 on the season and remains tied with Dayton for first place in the Midwest League Eastern Division.
Whitecaps starting pitcher Alfred Gutierrez lasted five innings on Wednesday, but gave up six runs, including five earned, on eight hits. Gutierrez struck out six and walked one batter.
The biggest damage surrendered by Gutierrez was in the fifth, when Bowling Green already had a 3-0 lead. Second baseman Robbie Tenerowicz came up with two runners on, fell behind 1-2 in the count, then hit a massive home run over the left-center wall to make the score 6-0.
“He had a hard time putting guys away,” Rabelo said about Gutierrez. “A lot of the damage was done with two strikes.”
Bowling Green’s Jesus Sanchez added a three-run homer over the right field fence in the eighth inning off Whitecaps reliever Tom De Blok to extend the lead to 9-1.
Bowling Green adding a run in the ninth.
Hot Rods starting pitcher Travis Ott pitched seven innings and kept the Whitecaps offense in check all day, surrendering no earned runs on six hits. Ott finished with 10 strikeouts and three walks.
The lone West Michigan run came in the bottom of the seventh when Cam Gibson hit a two-out single to right and advanced to third on a two- base error. He came home on an infield single by Jake Robson.
Gibson and Robson who each had two hits for the Whitecaps, who only managed six on the day. Miles Mastrobuoni had four of the Hot Rods’ 19 hits.
West Michigan will travel to Lake County for a four-game series beginning on Thursday night at 6:35 p.m.