DAYTON, OH – Pitcher Wilmer Flores continued his dominant start to the 2022 season, but the West Michigan Whitecaps dropped the final game of a six-game series to the Dayton Dragons by a score of 9-2 in front of 8,389 fans Sunday at Day Air Ballpark.
Flores, the Detroit Tigers no. 15 prospect by MLB Pipeline, tossed the final four innings of Sunday’s tilt in relief, allowing two runs (one earned) while striking out six. The right-hander has collected 20 strikeouts in 10 innings of one-run baseball this season.
At the plate, the lone bright spot came when Wenceel Perez slashed an inside-the-park home run into the right-field corner – the first inside the park homer since Jake Holton accomplished the feat last September.
The big Sunday story in Dayton was the starting pitcher, as the Dragons Luis Castillo, a 2019 National League All-Star with the Cincinnati Reds, tossed nearly three innings with four strikeouts.
West Michigan’s Colt Keith drew a bases-loaded walk to give the ‘Caps their only run in the third. In the bottom of the frame, former Whitecaps infielder Nick Quintana, acquired by the Reds from Detroit in an offseason trade for catcher Tucker Barnhart, blasted his second home run of the series to tie the game at one.
The fourth inning decided Sunday’s contest, as West Michigan pitcher Jordan Marks gave up two more long balls, as Elly De La Cruz and Allan Cerda went back-to-back to highlight a six-run frame and give Dayton a 7-1 lead.
The Whitecaps record drops to 7-8, while the Dragons improve to 11-4.
Dayton pitcher Andrew Abbott (2-0) dominated in relief, tossing the final six innings and allowing just one run on three hits while striking out a career-high 11 batters to collect his second win of the season, while Marks (0-3) suffered his third loss of 2022. Perez reached base three times in a losing cause. The loss gives Dayton wins in five of the six games in the weeklong series.
The Whitecaps return home for a six-game series with the Great Lakes Loons at LMCU Ballpark beginning Tuesday at 6:35 pm. Carlos Guzman gets the start for West Michigan.
Broadcast coverage with Dan Hasty and Nate Wangler starts on the Whitecaps Baseball Network at 6:20 pm. Get your tickets for all 2022 home games now at www.whitecapsbaseball.com.