SOUTH BEND, IND. - The South Bend Cubs defeated the Cedar Rapids Kernels, 2-1, Monday afternoon in the rubber game of a three-game series at Four Winds Field. Cedar Rapids put the potential game-tying and go-ahead runs aboard in the eighth and ninth innings but suffered a one-run loss. Manuel Rondon earned his 10th victory to tie Dayton Dragon Scott Moss for the Midwest League lead and give South Bend a 2-1 series victory against Cedar Rapids.
Aaron Whitefield pushed the Kernels (11-14, 50-45) to an early 1-0 lead in the first inning. Whitefield drew a leadoff walk and stole second base. A foul popout by Travis Blankenhorn allowed Whitefield to reach third base. Lewin Diaz followed with a sacrifice fly that put Cedar Rapids in front.
Alberto Mineo answered in the third inning to give South Bend (12-13, 41-43) a 2-1 advantage. Jhonny Pereda singled against Eduardo Del Rosario, and Luis Ayala followed with a walk. Both runners advanced on a sacrifice bunt from Andruw Monasterio. Mineo singled to drive in Pereda and Ayala to change the Cubs' one-run deficit into a one-run lead.
Although the Kernels had multiple runners on base in the final frames, they were unable to tie the game. Chad Hockin stranded an inherited runner in the seventh inning but allowed Whitefield to get into scoring position in the eighth. Wyatt Short came in and gave up a walk to Diaz before ending the threat with a strikeout. Hank Morrison and Andre Jernigan singled in the ninth, and Caleb Hamilton produced a sacrifice bunt. Short responded with a groundout and a strikeout to close the contest.
Rondon (10-3) tossed a season-high 6.2 innings with only one run conceded in the victory. Hockin picked up his team-high sixth hold and Short notched his team-best 10th save. Del Rosario (7-6) took a loss despite a quality start. He registered a game-high five strikeouts over six frames.
Coming up, the Kernels will be idle Tuesday before starting a six-game homestand Wednesday at 6:35 p.m. CT. Left-hander Domenick Carlini IV (3-7, 5.33) and the Kernels will face the Great Lakes Loons in the opener. Chris Kleinhans-Schulz will call the action on 1450 KMRY AM and 93.1 KMRY FM and also online at www.kmryradio.com, www.kernels.com, and MiLB.TV.
Wednesday is Hall of Fame & Alumni Recognition Night. The Kernels will recognize 2017 Cedar Rapids Baseball Hall of Fame inductees John Roseboro, Barry Morgan, Bob Forsch, and Russ Rossiter. Plus, fans can meet former Cedar Rapids professional baseball players and get autographs during the contest.
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.