CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - The Kernels thrashed the Great Lake Loons for a second straight game in a 13-8 win on Friday night. Adam Brett Walker led the way with 2 home runs and 7 RBI as every Kernels starter reached base on way to the team's 5th-straight victory.
Walker connected for a 3-run home run in the 1st inning and then hit his second of the night to left-center and onto 8th Ave for a grand slam in the 4th. The Kernels batted around in the 4th, scoring 6 runs on 3 hits in the frame. J.D. Williams led off the inning with a homer and Byron Buxton, Niko Goodrum, Dalton Hicks, and Travis Harrison also scored.
Walker finished 3-for-4, raising his average to .313. Buxton reached base three times via walk to raise his Midwest League-leading on-base percentage.
In total, the Kernels (14-5) recorded runs in the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 8th innings. Manager Jake Mauer's squad is now a plus-34 in run differential, which is second in the MWL.
Starter Hudson Boyd retired the first eight Great Lakes hitters before the Loons (10-10) began a 2-out rally in the top of the 3rd. Loons outfielder James Baldwin singled, and then Boyd yielded four straight walks and a fly out to end the inning, resulting in 2 runs. Boyd exited the contest after 4 innings, finishing with 5 hits and 4 runs to his name.
Steve Gruver (2-0) replaced Boyd on the mound and pitched 2.2 innings. Gruver gave up 1 run on 3 hits and struck out 6 for the win. The left-hander has now appeared in 5 games this season.
Right-hander Chris Mazza was called on in the top of the 7th, and threw 1.1 innings. Southpaw David Hurlbut closed the contest by striking out two in the 9th.
Saturday, April 27 - 5:05 p.m. vs. Great Lakes Loons (Los Angeles Dodgers)
(Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium)
Cedar Rapids: LHP Mason Melotakis (1-1, 2.84) vs. Great Lakes: RHP Ralston Cash (2-0, 1.23)
Radio: KMRY 1450 AM/93.1 FM & www.kernels.com
Promotions: Wings & Beer Night!
Tickets: Available at www.kernels.com or at the Kernels Ticket Office at Veterans Memorial Stadium, 319-896-7650 (Monday-Friday 10-5, Saturday 10-2)