CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA - Mitchell Kranson and Jermaine Palacios both finished a triple shy of hitting for the cycle Wednesday during a 7-4 Cedar Rapids Kernels triumph over the Peoria Chiefs at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium. Cedar Rapids tallied a season-high 17 hits and earned its third consecutive win for a 3-1 series victory. The Kernels also moved into first place in the Western Division standings for the first time this season.
Kranson batted 3-for-4 with hits in his first three plate appearances. He popped out to second base in the sixth inning in his only chance to complete the cycle. Palacios went 3-for-5 and grounded into an eighth-inning double play during his final at-bat. No Kernel has hit for the cycle since May 8, 2009 when Gabe Jacobo accomplished the feat at the Quad Cities River Bandits.
The Kernels (23-16) jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead. Palacios recorded a one-out double in the first inning ahead of Lewin Diaz, who hit a go-ahead home run to right field. The two-run blast was Diaz's fifth homer this season. Kranson also doubled to start his quest for the cycle.
In the top of the second, Peoria rallied in front, 3-2. The Chiefs loaded the bases for Vince Jackson, and he plated Brian O'Keefe on a single. Bryce Denton followed with a game-tying sacrifice fly to bring in Ryan McCarvel. Matt Davis added an RBI single that drove in Dylan Carlson and gave the Chiefs their first lead of the game.
Palacios and Kranson powered a five-run Kernels rally in the bottom of the second to take a 7-3 advantage. Following an RBI single by Aaron Whitefield, Palacios launched a three-run home run to left-center field for his fourth home run of the year. Kranson posted a solo homer to right field later in the inning - his third round-tripper overall - to cap the scoring in the rally.
The Chiefs threatened during the seventh inning but only closed the gap to 7-4. Peoria loaded the bases without a hit and scored when Stefan Trosclair drew a bases-loaded walk. A flyout by O'Keefe left the bases full to close the frame.
Sean Poppen (2-1) picked up the win and recorded his seventh consecutive quality start to open the season. He allowed three runs, including two earned runs, over six innings. Steve Farinaro (1-3) suffered the loss after giving up a season-high seven runs in three innings pitched. Alex Robinson notched his first career save with two scoreless frames of relief.
Cedar Rapids returns to action Thursday with the opener of a four-game road series at the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. First pitch for Thursday's tilt will be at 6:35 p.m., and the projected starters are Kernels southpaw Domenick Carlini IV (1-2, 5.66) and Timber Rattlers right-hander Braden Webb (1-2, 3.38). Chris Kleinhans-Schulz will call the game on 1450 KMRY AM and 93.1 KMRY FM and also online at www.kmryradio.com and www.kernels.com.
The next Kernels homestand features four home games and runs from Monday, May 22 through Thursday, May 25. 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.