CLINTON, IOWA - A five-run, two-out rally in the fifth inning pushed the Cedar Rapids Kernels toward a 9-4 victory Thursday against the Clinton LumberKings at Ashford University Field. The Kernels (30-16, 62-53) secured a 2-0 lead in this three-game series and clinched a season series victory by taking a 9-6 advantage for the season against the LumberKings (21-25, 60-56).
Cedar Rapids took a brief 1-0 edge in the second inning before Clinton surged in front, 2-1, later in the frame. Michael Helman singled and stole second base before coming home on Ben Rodriguez's RBI double. Rainis Silva answered for Clinton with a two-run double that plated Dimas Ojeda and Johnny Adams.
Ryan Jeffers turned the Kernels' one-run deficit into a one-run lead during the top of the third inning. After a one-out walk for Akil Baddoo, Jeffers hit a home run to left field and put Cedar Rapids ahead for good at 3-2.
Both teams scored in the fourth leaving the Kernels with a 4-3 lead. Jacob Pearson scored for Cedar Rapids on a fielder's choice coupled with an error. Eugene Helder led off Clinton's half of the inning with a solo homer.
Four two-out RBI singles within the fifth increased Cedar Rapids' lead to 9-3. The inning started with back-to-back outs, but Helman extended the frame with a double. Rodriguez followed with a run-scoring single. Pearson added a single of his own, and Andrew Bechtold singled to drive in another run. Pearson and Bechtold both scored on an RBI single from Michael Davis. Ariel Montesino walked to keep the inning alive, and Baddoo capped the scoring with a single that brought in Davis.
The LumberKings only scored one run in the seventh and trimmed their deficit to 9-4. Adams hit a leadoff double and eventually came home during Billy Cooke's two-out RBI single.
Randy Dobnak (8-4) recorded his team-high eighth win and ninth quality start after holding Clinton to three runs over six innings pitched. Tyler Jackson (1-2) surrendered four runs including three earned runs in four innings and was saddled with the loss. Derek Molina allowed just one run over three frames and picked up his first Midwest League save.
The series finale between Cedar Rapids and Clinton will start at 6:30 p.m. Friday. Kernels right-hander Blayne Enlow (2-4, 3.65) and LumberKings right-hander Ryne Inman (3-8, 4.92) are the probable pitchers. 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 homestand begins Monday, August 13 and continues through Friday, August 17. 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.