PEORIA, ILL. - The Cedar Rapids Kernels picked up a 7-2 victory Sunday against the Peoria Chiefs to open a twin bill split at Dozer Park. Peoria (27-35) bounced back with a 2-1 win against Cedar Rapids (33-30) in the doubleheader finale. The Kernels finished the day with a series lead of 3-1.
Cedar Rapids and Peoria traded early runs to begin the doubleheader opener. Jacob Pearson's first-inning RBI single gave the Kernels a quick lead, but a wild pitch in the second inning allowed Alexis Wilson to score and bring the Chiefs level at 1-1.
Six consecutive runs over the final three frames drove Cedar Rapids to the victory. Chris Williams broke the tie with a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning. A run-scoring single by Estamy Urena, bases-loaded walks from Gilberto Celestino and Wander Javier, and another sacrifice fly for Williams came within the sixth. Yeltsin Encarnacion added an RBI single in the top of the seventh before Peoria's Brady Whalen hit an RBI single in the home half of the inning to trim the final margin to 7-2 Kernels.
Andrew Cabezas (2-5) yielded just one unearned run and notched a game-high-tying five strikeouts over five-plus innings to earn the win. Colin Schmid (3-2) also tallied five strikeouts but was tagged for two runs in 4.1 innings for a loss.
In the doubleheader finale, Franyel Casadilla (2-1) and Zach Neff matched zeroes for the first several frames. Casadilla finished with a quality start in his second starting assignment of the season. Neff tossed a game-high six strikeouts over a personal-best five innings in the first start of his professional career.
The score bounced back and forth in the late innings with Peoria securing a 2-1 edge. Juan Yepez produced a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning for a 1-0 Chiefs lead. Ricky De La Torre hit a game-tying home run for the Kernels within the sixth, but the Chiefs regained the lead in their half of the frame on Whalen's RBI single.
Casadilla was the winning pitcher, and Cole Aker completed the contest by escaping a bases-loaded jam in the seventh for his first professional save. Frandy Torres (0-1) gave up the final run and took the loss during his Midwest League debut.
Monday's series finale between Cedar Rapids and Peoria is scheduled for 11:05 a.m., and Kernels right-hander Kai-Wei Teng (0-0, 4.91) will face Chiefs right-hander Michael Brettell (2-2, 3.90). Online broadcast coverage with Chris Kleinhans-Schulz will be available at www.kmryradio.com and www.kernels.com.
The final Kernels homestand in the first half of the 2019 season begins June 11 and runs through June 16. Fans can purchase tickets for all Cedar Rapids Kernels home games by visiting www.kernels.com, going to the Kernels Ticket Office, or calling (319) 896-7560. The Kernels Ticket Office is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturdays. 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.