GENEVA, ILL. - On the third pitch of a Tuesday tilt at Northwestern Medicine Field, Akil Baddoo hit a home run to open the Cedar Rapids Kernels' 7-0 wire-to-wire victory against the Kane County Cougars. Randy Dobnak fired eight shutout innings for the Kernels (30-34) and earned his team-high fourth win of the year.
Baddoo's blast started a string of three consecutive extra-base hits to begin the game. Baddoo crushed a solo shot to right field for Cedar Rapids' first leadoff home run this season. Royce Lewis and Alex Kirilloff followed with back-to-back doubles that increased the lead to 2-0 Kernels.
The first-inning rally provided all of the offense that Dobnak (4-2) needed within his longest start in affiliated baseball. Dobnak scattered 10 hits over eight frames on 99 pitches. He escaped a bases-loaded jam during the second inning and did not allow another runner to reach third base over his final six innings of work. Jose Martinez relieved Dobnak in the ninth and faced the minimum in a scoreless frame.
Cedar Rapids tallied two runs in the top of the fourth inning for a 4-0 advantage. Robby Rinn led off with a single, and Jacob Pearson added a double. Andrew Bechtold singled to drive in Rinn prior to a force out by Trey Cabbage that allowed Pearson to come home.
Three total runs over the eighth and ninth innings lifted the Kernels to their winning margin of 7-0. Rinn and Pearson doubled to start the eighth inning for one run. Pearson added a run of his own via error near the end of the frame. During the ninth inning, Rinn singled to drive in Baddoo. Rinn went 4-of-5 with a career-high-tying four hits, and Pearson also matched his career high in hits within a 3-of-5 outing.
Brian Shaffer (2-5) was the losing pitcher Tuesday for Kane County (31-33). Shaffer allowed four runs over six innings pitched. He also registered a game-high six strikeouts.
This three-game series resumes Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. with Kernels right-hander Brusdar Graterol (2-1, 1.95) scheduled to pitch against Cougars left-hander Mack Lemieux (1-5, 4.74). Online coverage with Chris Kleinhans-Schulz will be available at www.kmryradio.com and www.kernels.com.
Cedar Rapids' last homestand in the first half of the season is scheduled for Friday, June 15 through Sunday, June 17. Fans can purchase tickets for all Cedar Rapids home games 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.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.