CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA - Chris Williams became the outright Cedar Rapids Kernels home run leader Tuesday, but his late solo shot came near the end of an 11-2 Quad Cities River Bandits victory at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium. Quad Cities (23-11) secured a 2-1 series advantage heading into Wednesday's finale at Cedar Rapids (16-22).
The River Bandits and the Kernels split the opening runs over the first two frames. An error on a pickoff attempt allowed Enmanuel Valdez to score for a 1-0 Quad Cities advantage during the top of the first. Cedar Rapids pulled even, 1-1, on a second-inning RBI single from Jacob Pearson.
Cesar Salazar's run-scoring single in the third inning put Quad Cities ahead for good, and a five-run rally within the fifth inning pushed the lead to 7-1. Scott Schreiber collected a sacrifice fly before Salazar grounded into an error that brought Jeremy Pena home. Michael Wielansky drove in Jonathan Lacroix with a bases-loaded walk, and Austin Dennis hit a two-run single.
Quad Cities capped a string of 10 consecutive runs within the final three innings. In the seventh, Valdez lifted a three-run home run. During the top of the ninth, Dennis plated Wielansky on a single to give the River Bandits an 11-1 edge.
Williams registered his team-high seventh homer for the last run in Tuesday's tilt. He launched a towering solo shot down the left-field line that trimmed the Quad Cities lead to 11-2.
Cody Deason (2-1) and Luis Garcia combined for 14 strikeouts to pick up the win and the save, respectively. Deason held the Kernels to one unearned run over five innings pitched. Garcia retired 12 out of 13 batters faced in four innings of relief and earned his first professional save. Luis Rijo (0-4) gave up a career-high seven runs including five unearned runs and was tagged with the loss.
The series finale between Cedar Rapids and Quad Cities is scheduled for 12:05 p.m. Wednesday. The probable pitchers are Kernels right-hander Andrew Cabezas (0-3, 4.21) and River Bandits right-hander Brett Daniels (0-2, 3.18). Online broadcast coverage will be available at www.kmryradio.com, www.kernels.com, and MiLB.TV.
Wednesday's matinee includes the Noon Game Lunch Combo, an $8.50 package that consists of a regular sandwich, a choice of chips or popcorn, and either a 16 oz. regular draft beer or a 20 oz. bottled soda or water.
Fans can purchase tickets for all Cedar Rapids Kernels home games by visiting www.kernels.com, going to the Kernels Ticket Office, or calling (319) 896-7560. The Kernels Ticket Office is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturdays. 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.