GENEVA, ILL. - Alex Kirilloff became the Midwest League's outright leader in home runs within his second career multi-homer performance during the Cedar Rapids Kernels' 10-3 triumph Thursday against the Kane County Cougars at Northwestern Medicine Field. Kirilloff also notched his first professional four-hit game and now tops the league with 13 round-trippers and 55 runs batted in.
Bailey Ober (3-1) picked up his third consecutive winning decision for the Kernels (31-35) in the rubber game of a three-game series. He retired 16 consecutive batters from the first through sixth innings on just 39 total pitches. Ober matched a career high with seven innings pitched and gave up his only runs on Yoel Yanqui's first-inning RBI single and a wild pitch during the seventh that allowed Renae Martinez to come home
Trey Cabbage's RBI double during the second inning forced a 1-1 tie prior to Cedar Rapids' go-ahead rally within the third. Royce Lewis doubled to drive in Akil Baddoo, and Kirilloff followed with a two-run, opposite-field homer. Cabbage brought in Jose Miranda later in the inning via force out to secure a 5-1 Kernels lead.
Run-scoring doubles in the fifth and sixth innings lifted Cedar Rapids to an 8-1 edge. Robby Rinn scored on a David Banuelos double during the fifth. Miranda and Rinn delivered back-to-back, two-out RBI doubles within the sixth.
Kirilloff put the finishing touches on his career outing in the final frames. He hit a towering solo shot to lead off the eighth inning, and he added a two-out RBI single near the end of the ninth that extended the Kernels' advantage to 10-2.
Kane County (32-34) trimmed its deficit to 10-3 in the bottom of the ninth on Ryan Grotjohn's RBI single, but Calvin Faucher bounced back with a pair of outs to end the contest.
Matt Peacock (3-3) was the losing pitcher Thursday for the Cougars. He surrendered a career-high 10 hits and six total runs over 4.2 innings pitched in the defeat.
Cedar Rapids closes the first half of the season with a three-game homestand. Friday's series opener against the Peoria Chiefs is scheduled for 6:35 p.m., and Kernels southpaw Bryan Sammons (2-4, 2.89) will face Chiefs right-hander Evan Guillory (6-4, 3.11). Broadcast coverage will be available on 1450 KMRY AM and 93.1 KMRY FM and also online at www.kmryradio.com, www.kernels.com, and MiLB.TV.
The first 1,000 fans through the gates Friday will receive a free Kids Heroes Baseball Card Set presented by McDonald's. The card set highlights children who have used Ronald McDonald House Charities of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois services and features the kids they meet and serve each day. Face Painting by Kennedy and Kernels Friday Mug Club Night, sponsored by Stadium Bar & Grill, Shuey's Restaurant & Lounge, Red's Public House, Mulligan's Pub, and Z102.9, are also on tap.
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.