The undefeated Lugnuts came into town over the weekend and the ‘Caps handed their in-state rivals its first loss of the season in dramatic fashion. Trailing 4-3 with one out in the bottom of the eighth in game two of the series, Danry Vasquez belted a two-run dinger over the right center field wall. It was a ball that never got too far off the ground and one that fans, maybe the manager, and even Vasquez himself didn't think was going to go over.
"I thought it was going to be a double," said Vasquez. "I didn't think it was going to be a home run, but I am happy it made it over and helped us get the win."
Helped them get the win it did as it was just another game determined by a single run; a scenario the Whitecaps have grown quite accustom to in the first couple weeks of the season. Seven of their first twelve games and half of their six wins have been decided by one run.
In tight ballgames, the ‘Caps have shown they can string together hits and more importantly, score runs with two outs, as they've done seven times over the past week.
"Anytime you're able to score runs with two outs, that will give your team a boost," said manager Ernie Young.
The first six home runs of the season for the Whitecaps were all solo shots until finally, Vasquez's two-run big fly in the eighth inning against the Lugnuts put an end to that streak. It also marked the first game where multiple home runs were tallied with the four-bag knocks coming from Vasquez, Eugenio Suarez and Steven Moya.
Not surprising is the home run power of Moya, but from Suarez and Vasquez, the extra bat power is something not quite expected; unless you're asking manager Ernie Young that is.
"If they hit the ball and square it up good, anything can happen. This is a different ballclub from what we had last year in that we have a little bit more team power. It was good to see us put the ball out of the ball park."
Highlighting a week of home runs was Chad Wright's grand slam in the top of the ninth against the Lake County Captains on Monday to secure a 7-2 victory.
Seven players on the roster currently have home runs for a team total of ten.
After a slow opening series, infielder Brandon Loy has quieted the critics for now regarding questions about his bat. The 2012 Detroit Tiger's draft pick currently is riding a ten-game hitting streak totaling 14 hits, four RBI and a .298 average.
Outfielder Steven Moya is right behind boasting a nine-game hitting streak with 17 hits, seven RBI and a whopping .415 average.
Dean Green opened the season by hitting safely in the first six games only to have his streak snapped last week when his game was cut short by a sixth inning ejection for batter interference against Lansing.
Carreno Careens Upward
Struggling mightily in his first two starts, Josue Carreno has nowhere to go but up as the season progresses. In his first two outings, he posted ERA's of 8.10 and 7.36 lasting seven innings between the two games and allowing 6 runs off 13 hits.
Carreno then turned in his best performance of the young season in his third start last week against Lansing, enduring six innings while giving up 2 runs over 4 hits. This strong performance brought his ERA down to 5.54 through three appearances.
The Whitecaps will make their second attempt at a series sweep tomorrow for a third and final game of an away series against the Lake County Captains. A six game home stand will ensue the following day against the likes of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers and the Beloit Snappers.