CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA - The Great Lakes Loons scored six unanswered runs and earned a 6-2 comeback win Wednesday evening against the Cedar Rapids Kernels at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium. Great Lakes (9-10, 52-34) picked up a 1-0 series lead and ended a season-high eight-game win streak for Cedar Rapids (12-7, 51-38).
The Kernels tallied runs in each of the first two innings to build a quick 2-0 advantage. Jacob Pearson collected a leadoff single during the first inning and scored on Gilberto Celestino's RBI triple. Trevor Casanova extended the lead in the second with a solo home run over the right-center-field wall.
Dillon Paulson pulled Great Lakes even, 2-2, within the fourth. Jacob Amaya's two-out single extended the inning, and Paulson crushed a game-tying, two-run homer to right field. Paulson now owns an active-team-high 12 round-trippers.
The Loons moved in front during the sixth inning before stretching the lead to 6-2 in the seventh. Chris Roller scored the tiebreaking run via passed ball with two outs within the sixth. Luke Heyer hit a two-out RBI double before back-to-back RBI singles from Josh McLain and Roller during the seventh.
Jose Martinez (6-1) was dominant over his final five frames and received credit for the victory. He gave up just two runs over seven total innings and retired 16 of the 17 batters that he faced. Justin Hagenman added two scoreless innings of relief to finish the 6-2 win.
Tyler Palm (1-5) was the losing pitcher despite throwing a quality start Wednesday. Palm allowed three runs including two earned runs in six innings. His six strikeouts were tied with Martinez for the game high within the series opener.
This three-game series continues Thursday at 6:35 p.m. with Cedar Rapids right-hander Luis Rijo (2-5, 2.33) scheduled to start against Great Lakes right-hander Jack Little (0-0, 0.00). Broadcast coverage of the contest will be available on 1450 KMRY AM and 93.1 KMRY FM and also online at www.kmryradio.com, www.kernels.com, and MiLB.TV.
Backpocket Brewing and the Kernels partnered up to create "Dirtbag IPA", and there will be a special release party Thursday for the new drink in the Millennial Lounge on the concourse. All fans aged 21 and older can get samples during the game from 7G Distributing. It will also be a First Federal Credit Union Big Screen Thursday, 94.1 KRNA Thirsty Thursday, College Night, Joe Torre Safe at Home Night presented by Waypoint, and Clubfoot Awareness Night.
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.