SOUTH BEND, IND. - The Cedar Rapids Kernels' offense exploded for several early runs Sunday at Four Winds Field in an 8-4 triumph at the South Bend Cubs. Sunday's victory evened this series at one win apiece and ended Cedar Rapids' season-high five-game losing streak.
The Kernels (11-13, 50-44) only had two runs over the first four games of this road trip before jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning Sunday. Aaron Whitefield and Joe Cronin each drew walks against Carson Sands. Travis Blankenhorn drove in both runners on an RBI triple. Lewin Diaz followed with an RBI groundout to plate Blankenhorn.
A four-run rally in the top of the third stretched the lead to 7-0. Diaz received a leadoff walk, and Hank Morrison added a single. Amaurys Minier blasted a three-run home run to right-center field for his second Kernels round-tripper. Andre Jernigan doubled and scored later in the frame on an RBI groundout from Christian Cavaness.
During the bottom of the third, South Bend (11-13, 50-43) scored two runs off Anthony Marzi. Tyler Payne led off the inning with his second home run for the Cubs this season. Andruw Monasterio picked up a one-out single and moved to second base on a wild pitch before scoring on an RBI single by Austin Upshaw.
Cedar Rapids answered with a run in the fourth inning for an 8-2 advantage. Blankenhorn walked against Jared Cheek to start the frame. He reached third base on a single by Diaz and came home during Morrison's sacrifice fly.
The Cubs sliced their deficit to 8-4 within the seventh but could not get closer to the Kernels in Sunday's tilt. Upshaw posted an RBI groundout that drove in Luis Ayala. A wild pitch by Max Cordy allowed Monasterio to score. Patrick McGuff relieved Cordy in the eighth and retired all six batters that he faced to end the game.
Marzi (3-0) earned his third victory in as many starts for the Kernels. He allowed just two runs over six innings and also tallied a team-high four strikeouts. Sands (0-1) yielded seven runs, a career-high-tying five walks, and four hits in two-plus innings pitched after returning to the Cubs' active roster from a rehab assignment in the Arizona League.
The series finale between Cedar Rapids and South Bend will be at 1:05 p.m. ET (12:05 p.m. CT) Monday afternoon. Kernels right-hander Eduardo Del Rosario (7-5, 4.48) is scheduled to face Cubs southpaw Manuel Rondon (9-3, 4.84). Coverage of Monday's contest will be online at www.kmryradio.com and www.kernels.com.
Cedar Rapids' next homestand starts Wednesday, July 19 and continues through Monday, July 24. 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.