COMSTOCK PARK, MICH. - Blayne Enlow recorded a game-high six strikeouts over six innings and won a quality start in an 8-4 Cedar Rapids Kernels triumph Thursday against the West Michigan Whitecaps at Fifth Third Ballpark. Cedar Rapids (15-18) improved to 10-0 in games with at least five runs scored.
Enlow (3-3) earned his career-high-tying third victory of the season to give the Kernels a 1-0 series lead against the Whitecaps (14-18). He limited West Michigan to one unearned run and four hits in a six-inning start. Enlow now holds two quality starts to tie Andrew Cabezas and Josh Winder for the team lead.
The Kernels broke a scoreless deadlock during the fourth inning to take a 3-0 lead. Gabriel Maciel's sacrifice bunt coupled with an error allowed Estamy Urena and Yeltsin Encarnacion to score. Later in the frame, Chris Williams drove in Maciel on a groundball to third base that led to another Whitecaps error.
West Michigan answered in the fifth and trimmed its deficit to 3-1. Sam McMillan collected a one-out single and advanced to second base after a wild pitch. Avery Tuck singled and drew an error on the play to help McMillan score the first Whitecaps run.
Jacob Pearson carried Cedar Rapids to a 6-1 advantage within the sixth. Williams fouled away several two-strike pitches before hitting a two-out single. Gabe Snyder added a single of his own, and David Banuelos walked to the load the bases. Pearson batted next and drove in all three runners with a double.
During the seventh inning, the Whitecaps continued their comeback attempt by producing a three-run rally. Wenceel Perez singled to bring in McMillan. Two more runs came home after an RBI single from Ulrich Bojarski sliced the difference to 6-4.
Bañuelos capped the scoring in the eighth and pushed Cedar Rapids to its winning margin of 8-4. Snyder and Bañuelos hit back-to-back doubles to plate one run. Bañuelos later scored himself due to a bases-loaded walk from Ureña.
The losing pitcher Thursday night was Adam Wolf (1-4). He was charged with three runs and a career-high five walks over three-plus innings pitched.
Up next, Cedar Rapids and West Michigan square off Friday evening at 7:05 p.m. ET (6:05 p.m. CT) in the middle meeting of a three-game series. Kernels right-hander Tyler Palm (1-2, 2.60) is scheduled to face Whitecaps right-hander Wilkel Hernandez (3-2, 4.50). Chris Kleinhans-Schulz have the call on 1450 KMRY AM and 93.1 KMRY FM and online at www.kmryradio.com and www.kernels.com.
Cedar Rapids' next homestand features four games in three days beginning with a doubleheader May 13. 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.