BURLINGTON, IOWA - A four-hit game from Akil Baddoo and a quality start by Bryan Sammons helped the Cedar Rapids Kernels claim a 7-5 wire-to-wire win Saturday evening against the Burlington Bees at Community Field. The Kernels (26-27) tied the series at 1-1 to make Sunday's finale against Burlington (23-33) the rubber game.
Baddoo collected two triples and nearly hit for the cycle Saturday, and Sammons (2-3) notched a career-high-tying eight strikeouts within a victorious start. Baddoo opened his night with a first-inning double and second-inning bunt single before hitting triples in the fourth and eighth innings within a 4-of-5 outing. Sammons held the Bees to just four hits and two runs over six innings pitched for his second consecutive win.
Three RBI singles in the first inning put Cedar Rapids ahead, 3-0. Alex Kirilloff notched his team-high 44th RBI by driving in Baddoo and later scored on a single from Ben Rortvedt. Trey Cabbage added a run-scoring single of his own as well.
The Bees closed the gap to 3-2 during the second. Jimmy Barnes' sacrifice fly plated Kevin Williams, and Jeyson Sanchez followed with an RBI single that brought in Franklin Torres.
Cabbage pushed the Kernels' lead to 4-2 within the top of the fourth. He clubbed a solo home run against Oliver Ortega (2-1) to open the frame. Ortega was tagged for four total runs allowed over five innings in a loss for Burlington.
A three-run outburst in the top of the seventh lifted Cedar Rapids to a 7-2 advantage. Jacob Pearson hit a two-run double and added a run himself on an RBI double by Rortvedt.
Burlington answered with three runs during its half of the seventh. A bases-loaded walk by Jared Finkel allowed Torres to come home. Jovani Moran entered the game and yielded bases-loaded walks to Spencer Griffin and Keinner Pina before inducing an inning-ending fly out. Moran posted scoreless work in the eighth and ninth innings to secure his second save.
The Kernels close their three-game road swing and their 21-day playing streak Sunday at 2:00 p.m. at Community Field. Cedar Rapids right-hander Edwar Colina (2-1, 2.87) is scheduled to face Burlington right-hander Simon Mathews (0-2, 3.58). Chris Kleinhans-Schulz will call the game on 1450 KMRY AM and 93.1 KMRY FM and also online at www.kmryradio.com and www.kernels.com.
Cedar Rapids' next home series consists of five games in three days June 5 through June 7 against the Beloit Snappers. Fans can purchase tickets for all Cedar Rapids home games by visiting www.kernels.com, going to the Kernels Ticket Office, or calling (319) 896-7560. The Kernels Ticket Office is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. On Sundays when the Kernels have a home game, the Kernels Ticket Office will open at 11:00 a.m.
The Cedar Rapids Kernels are the Midwest League affiliate of the Minnesota Twins.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.