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Farmer starts Friday for Whitecaps

Buck Farmer was hoping a recent trend continued Friday night.

Farmer, a former Rockdale stand out now pitching for the Single A West Michigan Whitecaps of the Midwest League, has alternated wins and losses in his last four starts, including allowing four earned runs in five innings in his last outing, a loss to Dayton May 24. The right-hander had another crack at Dayton in a Friday night game that ended too late for this edition.

The Conyers native, in his first season of professional baseball with the Detroit Tigers organization after a stellar career at Georgia Tech, led the Midwest League in strikeouts with 68 coming into Friday and has struck out at least six batters in eight of his nine starts.

In 50 2/3 innings, Farmer has allowed 18 earned runs (3.20 ERA) and is 5-4 overall for the Whitecaps, who came into the weekend in second place in the Eastern Division, 4 1/2 games back of South Bend.

Farmer went 0-3, but had a 3.09 ERA (11 earned runs in 32 innings pitched) and 33 strikeouts in 12 games (11 starts) for Connecticut of the New York-Penn League in his first professional season in 2013. So far in 2014, the 6-4, 225-pounder is making a case for an all-star selection when the league’s top players meet for the annual East-West game, which this season is hosted by the Whitecaps at Fifth Third Park in Comstock, Michigan on June 17.