CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA - Jaylin Davis led the Cedar Rapids Kernels with a career-high three home runs Tuesday at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium, but it took RBI extra-base hits in the eighth inning from Christian Cavaness and Lewin Diaz to lift the Kernels to a 7-6 victory over the Peoria Chiefs.
Davis became the first Cedar Rapids batter to record a three-homer game since Mitch Garver back on July 21, 2014 against the Fort Wayne TinCaps. Davis also joins Lake County's Jose Medina as the only Midwest League hitters with three home runs in a game this season.
Two early blasts by Davis helped the Kernels (22-16) grab a 3-0 lead. He hit a solo shot to center field in the second inning, and he added a two-run clout to center field during the fourth.
Peoria (13-23) rallied for the next four runs to jump in front, 4-3. Tommy Edman's RBI single and Andrew Young's two-run triple in the top of the fifth tied the game. Young pushed Peoria ahead in the seventh with a go-ahead single.
Another round-tripper from Davis evened the score at 4-4 during the bottom of the seventh inning. Davis led off with a solo blast to right-center field to secure his historic home run performance. Davis' three-homer effort moved him into the team lead for round-trippers with seven this season.
Cavaness and Diaz broke the tie in the eighth as Cedar Rapids took a 7-4 advantage. Cavaness brought in the go-ahead run on an RBI triple and locked up a 10-game hit streak and 12-game on-base streak in the process. Two batters later, Diaz collected a two-run double.
In the ninth, the Chiefs scored two runs but fell short by a 7-6 margin. Stefan Trosclair's bases-loaded single opened the scoring. Andrew Knizner drove in another run during a force out to make it a one-run contest. However, Brian O'Keefe and Jose Martinez both struck out at the end of the game.
Kernels reliever Hector Lujan (2-0) was credited with the victory. He allowed two runs over two innings but finished out the contest for Cedar Rapids in Tuesday's win. Peoria starting pitcher Ian Oxnevad (0-3) took the loss after giving up six runs over seven-plus innings of work.
A Wednesday matinee is on tap for the series finale. First pitch Wednesday is at 12:05 p.m. with Kernels right-hander Sean Poppen (1-1, 2.29) and Chiefs right-hander Steve Farinaro (1-2, 5.46) scheduled to pitch. Online coverage of Wednesday's contest is available with Morgan Hawk at www.kmryradio.com, www.kernels.com, and MiLB.TV.
Wednesday marks the first Noon Game of the season, presented by 104.5 KDAT. Fans can enjoy a Noon Game Lunch Combo Special that includes a regular sandwich, a choice of chips or popcorn, and either a 16 oz. regular draft beer or 20 oz. bottled soda or water for just $8.50. Gates will open at 11:00 a.m. for the 12:05 p.m. tilt.
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.