BURLINGTON, IOWA - Patrick McGuff, Evan Sanders, and Colton Davis pitched the Cedar Rapids Kernels to an 8-0, two-hit shutout Thursday at Community Field against the Burlington Bees. Aaron Whitefield led the Kernels' offense with a 3-for-5 performance that included three runs batted in and two doubles. Cedar Rapids' wire-to-wire
BURLINGTON, IOWA - Patrick McGuff, Evan Sanders, and Colton Davis pitched the Cedar Rapids Kernels to an 8-0, two-hit shutout Thursday at Community Field against the Burlington Bees. Aaron Whitefield led the Kernels' offense with a 3-for-5 performance that included three runs batted in and two doubles. Cedar Rapids' wire-to-wire win also closed a 2-2 series split.
McGuff tossed four no-hit innings for Cedar Rapids (25-28, 64-59) in his first professional start. He retired the first six batters that came to the plate, and he only faced one batter over the minimum over a career-high four innings pitched. McGuff did not factor in the decision and gave up just two walks with no runs or hits allowed.
Sanders and Davis kept the shutout intact against Burlington (21-32, 52-70) with scoreless relief. Sanders (2-4) was credited with the victory Thursday after pitching three shutout innings with only two hits allowed. Davis fired a perfect eighth inning and stranded a pair of runners in the ninth to finish the contest.
The Kernels notched a quick 2-0 lead in the top of the first. Travis Blankenhorn collected a one-out single and stole second base. Whitefield followed with an RBI double, and he stole third base for his team-high 30th steal. Lewin Diaz produced an RBI single that plated Whitefield.
Two more runs within the fourth inning put Cedar Rapids' lead at 4-0. Diaz led off with a double and reached third base via error. Two batters later, Shane Carrier drove in Diaz with a single. Trey Cabbage batted next and tripled to bring in Carrier.
Whitefield pushed another run home during the fifth for a 5-0 advantage. Royce Lewis hit a leadoff single and advanced on a Blankenhorn groundout and a balk. Whitefield delivered his second RBI double to plate Lewis.
Cedar Rapids stretched its lead to 8-0 in the sixth inning. With two runners aboard and two outs, Lewis brought in Caleb Hamilton with an RBI single. Blankenhorn added an RBI single of his own to drive in Cabbage, and Whitefield also collected an RBI single that allowed Lewis to score.
Burlington's Chris Rodriguez (0-2) was the losing pitcher in Thursday's series finale. Rodriguez allowed five runs and nine hits over five innings of work.
Coming up next, Cedar Rapids hosts a four-game series against the Beloit Snappers. Friday's homestand opener is slated for 6:35 p.m., and Kernels southpaw Anthony Marzi (4-2, 2.11) will square off against Snappers southpaw Zack Erwin (5-3, 2.36). Morgan Hawk will call the action on 1450 KMRY AM, 93.1 KMRY FM, and KCRG 9.2 and also online at www.kmryradio.com, www.kernels.com, and MiLB.TV.
Friday is Hawkeye Night at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium, and the first 1,000 fans will receive a free Bob Brooks Bobblehead courtesy of Classic KMRY. The Kernels will wear special Hawkeye-themed jerseys that will be auctioned off during the game to support the Linn County I-Club. Friday's contest is also a Kernels Friday Mug Club Night sponsored by Stadium Bar & Grill, Shuey's Restaurant & Lounge, Red's Public House, Mulligan's Pub, and Z 102.9.
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.