BOWLING GREEN, KY. - Christian Cavaness and Lewin Diaz each blasted critical home runs Saturday at Bowling Green Ballpark as the Cedar Rapids Kernels built an early seven-run advantage and held on for a 7-5 triumph against the Bowling Green Hot Rods. Diaz went 3-of-5 with two runs batted in and two runs scored while ending a triple shy of hitting for the cycle.
The Kernels (20-15) scored their seven runs over the first two innings of play to support right-hander Clark Beeker (5-1), who picked up his Midwest League-high fifth win. Cedar Rapids picked up a 2-1 series victory at Bowling Green (16-18) and went 3-3 over a six-game Eastern Division road trip.
A two-out rally in the first inning produced a quick 5-0 Kernels lead. Lewin Diaz kept the inning alive with a single. Jaylin Davis followed with a walk, and Mitchell Kranson was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Caleb Hamilton delivered a three-run double, and Cavaness followed with a two-run homer. It was Cavaness' second home run of the season.
Diaz added his two-out, two-run blast during the second and increased the lead to 7-0. Travis Blankenhorn's single extended the frame for Diaz, who launched his fourth Kernels round-tripper. Bowling Green right-hander Adrian Navas (2-5) allowed all seven Kernels runs over just two innings pitched while taking the loss.
The Hot Rods used a season-high three home runs against Beeker to slice their deficit to 7-5. Lucius Fox hit his first Hot Rods homer - a third-inning solo shot - to get Bowling Green on the scoreboard. Jonah Heim hit a solo home run during the fifth and also clubbed a three-run round-tripper in the seventh to secure his first career multi-homer game.
Cedar Rapids' bullpen shut the door over the final frames to lock up a 7-5 victory. Colton Davis pitched the rest of the seventh inning and earned his second hold with a scoreless outing. Andrew Vasquez followed with four strikeouts over 1.1 innings and notched his third hold. Hector Lujan recorded the final two outs, striking out potential game-tying run Jesus Sanchez to end the contest and grab his first save this year.
The Kernels will be idle Sunday before starting a four-game homestand Monday with a 5:30 p.m. doubleheader against the Peoria Chiefs. Both contests of Monday's twin bill are scheduled for seven innings, and game two will begin approximately 30 minutes after game one ends. 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.
This upcoming Kernels homestand opens with a Mark Down Monday at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium. Regular hot dogs are only $1.50 each, and small popcorn, ice cream sandwiches, and chips and just $1.00 apiece. A ticket for Monday is good for both games of the doubleheader. Gates will open at 4:30 p.m.
Fans can purchase tickets for all 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 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.