TRAVERSE CITY — First, Traverse City lost its All-Star shortstop Thursday afternoon.
Then, the Beach Bums lost for the second time in two nights as the Frontier Greys posted a 9-5 Frontier League win at Wuerfel Park.
Just hours before the first pitch, the Beach Bums announced that the Texas Rangers had purchased Taylor Wrenn’s contract. The 23-year-old had been a catalyst for the East Division-leading Beach Bums, hitting .288 with eight home runs and 43 RBIs.
"We're happy for Taylor," manager Gregg Langbehn said. "That's what it's all about. We've got guys that are going to step in. No excuses."
Shortstop wasn't the only hole on the left side of the infield that Langbehn needed to fill Thursday night. Third baseman Jose Vargas suffered a leg injury in Wednesday's game and watched from the bench.
"It will be a few days (before he plays)," Langbehn said.
The Greys struck early as Traverse City saw its lead drop to two games over Florence. The Greys scored five runs in the second and four in the third. Eight of those runs were charged to starter Jacob Clem.
Mark Micowski carried the big stick. He went 3-for-4 with a walk, a stolen base, two RBIs and two runs scored. Micowski belted a two-run home run in the second to wipe out a 1-0 Traverse City lead. The lefthander is now 16-for-30 against Beach Bums pitching this season with five doubles, two triples and a home run.
He had ample help in the lineup. Esteban Meletiche contributed a two-run triple in the second while J.J. Muse keyed the four-run outburst in the third with a two-run double.
"If you don't pitch well it doesn't matter what kind of offense you have," Langbehn said. "You've got to be able to pitch."