Kirilloff Lifts Kernels Past Bandits

Cedar Rapids wins tight contest, 6-5, versus Quad Cities

By Chris Kleinhans-Schulz / Cedar Rapids Kernels | May 15, 2018 11:18 PM

CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA - Alex Kirilloff finished a double shy of hitting for the cycle Tuesday at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium, and he scored three runs including a late go-ahead tally within the Cedar Rapids Kernels' 6-5 victory over the Quad Cities River Bandits. Kirilloff's hit streak improved to 14 games, and he has also collected at least one extra-base hit in 13 consecutive contests.

The River Bandits (19-17) grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on Ruben Castro's RBI groundout, but Kirilloff and the Kernels (17-15) rallied for a 3-1 edge in their half of the opening stanza. Kirilloff put Cedar Rapids ahead with a two-run home run, and Andrew Bechtold produced an RBI single later in the frame.

Quad Cities quickly answered during the second inning to tie the contest, 3-3. Jonathan Lacroix cut the deficit in half with an RBI double that plated Bryan De La Cruz. A wild pitch with a long carom off the backstop allowed Lacroix to score the tying run from second base.

Jean Carlos Arias pushed Cedar Rapids back in front by a 4-3 margin within the bottom of the third. Arias grounded into a force out to drive in Kirilloff for a one-run lead.

Lacroix pulled Quad Cities even at 4-4 in the sixth. De La Cruz led off the inning with a walk and advanced to second base on a groundout before scoring on an RBI single from Lacroix.

The Kernels reclaimed the lead during the seventh and stretched their advantage to 6-4 by the end of the eighth. Kirilloff tripled to open the seventh and scored after a sacrifice fly from Ben Rodriguez. Jose Miranda increased the lead with a solo home run within the bottom of the eighth.

Miguelangel Sierra kept the River Bandits alive with a two-out solo shot in the ninth that closed the gap to 6-5, but a groundout followed that ended the contest.

Jovani Moran (1-1) was charged with a blown save but also picked up the victory Tuesday. Carlos Suniaga notched his first Kernels save in the contest. Tanner Duncan (0-1) suffered the loss for Quad Cities.

Up next, Cedar Rapids and Quad Cities will play a day-night doubleheader consisting of two seven-inning games. The games in this split twin bill are considered two different ticketed events, so separate tickets are required to attend each tilt. Kernels southpaw Tyler Watson (2-1, 3.22) and right-hander Randy Dobnak (3-1, 4.91) will face River Bandits right-handers Cristian Javier (1-1, 2.25) and Luis Garcia (1-1, 1.64), respectively.

Game one of Wednesday's doubleheader is set for 12:05 p.m. with coverage online at www.kmryradio.com, www.kernels.com, and MiLB.TV. Fans can enjoy a Noon Game Combo Special for the day game that includes a regular sandwich (hamburger, cheeseburger, hot dog or brat), a choice of chips or popcorn, and either a 16 oz. regular draft beer or 20 oz. bottled soda or water for just $8.50. Game two of the twin bill is slated to begin at 6:35 p.m., and the tilt will be broadcast on 1450 KMRY AM and 93.1 KMRY FM and also online at www.kmryradio.com, www.kernels.com, and MiLB.TV.

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.

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