BURLINGTON, IOWA - Caleb Hamilton's two-run home run in the first inning sparked the Cedar Rapids Kernels' offense within a 5-2 win Tuesday evening against the Burlington Bees at Community Field. Hamilton tied a season high with three runs batted in overall. Tuesday's tilt evened this four-game series, 1-1, and
BURLINGTON, IOWA - Caleb Hamilton's two-run home run in the first inning sparked the Cedar Rapids Kernels' offense within a 5-2 win Tuesday evening against the Burlington Bees at Community Field. Hamilton tied a season high with three runs batted in overall. Tuesday's tilt evened this four-game series, 1-1, and brought the season series to an 8-8 tie.
Hamilton opened the scoring in a three-run, first-inning rally for Cedar Rapids (24-27, 63-58). After a one-out walk by Christian Cavaness, Hamilton delivered his ninth Kernels home run on a two-run blast to left field. Two batters later, Shane Carrier hit a double before coming home on a single by Trey Cabbage. Carrier owns a 21-game hit streak and 32-game on-base streak dating back to his recent stint with the Rookie-Level Elizabethton Twins.
Aaron Whitefield extended the Kernels' lead to 4-0 during the top of the second. Jordan Gore produced a one-out single and scored when Whitefield collected a triple. Whitefield's extra-base hit was Cedar Rapids' Midwest League-leading 46th triple of the season.
The Bees (20-31, 51-69) closed the gap to 4-2 after a pair of home runs. In the bottom of the second, Brennan Morgan slugged a solo homer to left field to put Burlington on the scoreboard. Within the fifth inning, John Schuknecht produced a solo shot of his own to left field. Schuknecht now shares the team lead in home runs at nine with former Bee Jahmai Jones.
In the ninth, Hamilton drove in another run for a 5-2 Cedar Rapids advantage. Whitefield drew a leadoff walk and stole second base, and Cavaness pushed Whitefield to third base with a groundout. Hamilton hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Whitefield.
Bryan Sammons (2-0) earned the win for the Kernels, and scoreless relief from Ryan Mason, Colton Davis, and Hector Lujan closed the contest. Sammons yielded two runs over five innings and notched a game-high six strikeouts. Mason recorded his team-high seventh hold after two scoreless frames of work. Davis picked up his sixth hold with a perfect inning. Lujan secured his active-league-high 13th save by retiring the side in order during the ninth.
Luis Madero (0-2) gave up four runs in five innings and took the loss. Justin Kelly escaped a bases-loaded jam in the sixth inning, and Jonah Wesely followed with two scoreless frames before giving up a run in the ninth.
This four-game series continues Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. with Kernels left-hander Tyler Watson (0-2, 7.84) scheduled to face Bees left-hander Jose Suarez (2-1, 4.63). Chris Kleinhans-Schulz will call the contest on 1450 KMRY AM and 93.1 KMRY FM and also online at www.kmryradio.com and www.kernels.com.
Cedar Rapids' next homestand starts Friday, August 18 and continues through Monday, August 21. Fans can purchase 2017 Kernels regular season and playoff tickets 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.