PEORIA, ILL. - Royce Lewis' three-run home run in the sixth inning Thursday at Dozer Park opened the scoring for the Cedar Rapids Kernels in their 9-5 come-from-behind win against the Peoria Chiefs. Cedar Rapids ended the game on a 9-1 run and swept its four-game series at Peoria. The Kernels also stayed undefeated and improved to 6-0 to start the season.
The Chiefs (1-5) jumped to a 4-0 lead early in the series finale. Back-to-back doubles during the second inning by Elehuris Montero and Dylan Carlson produced the first run. Montero added a fourth-inning RBI single, and Julio Rodriguez drove in two runs with a single of his own later in the frame.
Jake Walsh kept the Kernels scoreless for five innings until Lewis' big blast within the sixth. A leadoff single by Mark Contreras and a one-out single by Akil Baddoo set the table for Lewis, who lifted his first home run of the season to left field and closed the gap to 4-3.
Cedar Rapids surged ahead in the top of the seventh before Peoria pulled even in its half of the inning. Baddoo tripled to drive in Contreras and Jordan Gore for a 5-4 Kernels lead. Carlson answered for the Chiefs with an RBI double off second base to tie the contest at 5-5.
A four-run rally within the eighth inning lifted the Kernels to a 9-5 advantage. Alex Kirilloff posted a leadoff double, and Shane Carrier and Jose Miranda walked to load the bases. Two batters later, David Banuelos hit a groundball that led to a two-base error that brought in Kirilloff and Carrier. Contreras followed with a double that plated Miranda and Banuelos.
Kevin Marnon (2-0) garnered the victory Thursday, and Thomas St. Clair (0-1) was the losing pitcher. In a non-save situation, Jared Finkel tossed two scoreless innings and escaped a bases-loaded jam in the ninth with a bases-loaded strikeout of potential game-tying run Juan Yepez.
Up next, Cedar Rapids hosts a three-game home series against the Clinton LumberKings. Friday's game is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. with Kernels southpaw Bryan Sammons (0-0, 0.00) expected to start against Snappers right-hander Tommy Romero (0-1, 1.69). Catch the coverage on 1450 KMRY AM and 93.1 KMRY FM and online at www.kmryradio.com, www.kernels.com, and MiLB.TV.
Superstition Night kicks off the Kernels' three-game homestand. The first 500 fans through the gates Friday the 13th will receive a Kernels four-leaf clover keychain. Kernels Friday Mug Club Night, sponsored by Stadium Bar & Grill, Shuey's Restaurant & Lounge, Red's Public House, Mulligan's Pub, and Z102.9, features an opportunity to purchase a refillable 16 oz. mug of draft beer or soda for just $6. Those souvenir mugs can also be used for $3 refills at any Kernels Friday home game.
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.