GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan (WDTN) – West Michigan’s Jimmy Kerr hit a two-run home run and scored two runs to lead the Whitecaps to a 4-3 victory over the Dayton Dragons on Tuesday night. The game was the opener to a 13-game road trip for the Dragons as they suffered their fourth straight loss.
Kerr’s home run in the seventh inning gave West Michigan a 4-1 lead. Dayton’s Victor Ruiz responded with a two-run homer with two outs in the top of the eighth, his first home run of the year, to pull the Dragons to within one run at 4-3, but the final four Dragons batters were retired as the Whitecaps held on for the win.
The Dragons took an early 1-0 lead in the third inning when Garrett Wolforth doubled to the left field fence to bring in Juan Martinez from first base. But West Michigan scored one run in the bottom of the third to tie, took the lead with a run in the sixth, and got Kerr’s two-run homer in the seventh.
The Dragons collected eight hits but went 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position. Martinez and Eric Yang each had two hits for Dayton. Wolforth had the RBI double and a walk.
Dragons starting pitcher Eduardo Salazar pitched well but was charged with the loss. Salazar (2-5) matched his season-high by going six innings and allowing five hits and two runs with no walks and six strikeouts. He retired nine straight hitters at one point.
The Race: The Dragons began the day in third place, one and one-half games behind Great Lakes in the East Division of the High-A Central League, and one-half game behind Lake County. While Lake County lost, Great Lakes was tied with Fort Wayne late in their game as this story was posted.
Up Next: The Dragons (41-37) continue their road trip on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. at West Michigan (37-41). JC Keys (3-0, 4.71) will pitch for Dayton against Brandon White (2-5, 4.10).
On the Air: All Dragons games are broadcast on radio on 980 WONE AM Fox Sports. Games can be heard on smart phones, iPads, and other mobile devices via the free Dragons Mobile App, or on a computer at wone.com. Games are also available on HD Radio on 104.7 WTUI HD 2.