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Comeback Stopped Short at Quad Cities

Cedar Rapids falls in opener of four-game series
June 27, 2016

DAVENPORT, IOWA - The Cedar Rapids Kernels rallied from a late deficit Monday at Modern Woodmen Park, but the Quad Cities River Bandits held on for a 5-4 victory. Cedar Rapids (3-2, 39-35) was unable to score an elusive game-tying run after nearly drawing even with Quad Cities (2-3, 33-41) at multiple points in the final innings.

Trailing 4-0 after six innings, the Kernels closed the gap to 4-3 in the top of the seventh. Brad Hartong opened the scoring on an RBI groundout that brought in J.J. Fernandez. Luis Arraez and Jermaine Palacios followed with back-to-back RBI doubles.

Cedar Rapids put runners in scoring position during the eighth inning, but a tough catch in left-center field by Pat Porter robbed Chris Ibarra of a potential go-ahead hit. Quad Cities cushioned its lead in the bottom of the eighth as Hector Roa doubled to drive in pinch-runner Myles Straw for a 5-3 advantage.

The Kernels trimmed the difference to 5-4 in the ninth inning but came up one run short. Hartong doubled and moved to third base on a groundout from Arraez. Palacios hit a sacrifice fly to score Hartong, but a strikeout came next to end the game.

The River Bandits led wire to wire in Monday's series opener after scoring the game's first four runs. Dexture McCall collected a two-run double in the first inning that put Quad Cities in front, 2-0. Osvaldo Duarte scored from first base in fifth inning on an Arturo Michelena single during a hit-and-run. The River Bandits pushed their lead to 4-0 in the sixth when Connor Goedert doubled to score Roa.

Quad Cities starting pitcher Albert Abreu (2-6) picked up the win after tossing five shutout innings. Cedar Rapids starter Dereck Rodriguez (1-9) suffered his Midwest League-leading ninth loss, allowing four runs over six frames while posting a game-high eight strikeouts. Despite allowing four runs in four innings of relief, River Bandits reliever Franklin Perez was given his first save of the season.

Game two of this four-game road series, scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, features Kernels southpaw Sam Clay (4-4, 2.83 ERA) pitching against River Bandits right-hander Elieser Hernandez (3-1, 1.00 ERA). Listen to all of the Midwest League action with Chris Kleinhans-Schulz on 1450 KMRY AM and 93.1 KMRY FM and online at www.kmryradio.com and www.kernels.com.

The next Kernels homestand begins Independence Day at 5:05 p.m. against the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers and continues through Monday, July 11. Tickets for all Kernels home games are available at www.kernels.com, the Kernels Ticket Office and by 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. The ticket office is closed on Sundays except on Kernels Sunday home dates when it will open at 11:00 a.m.