CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA - In the opener of a four-game series at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium, the Cedar Rapids Kernels rallied but fell short, 7-6, Thursday against the Quad Cities River Bandits. The River Bandits extended their longest winning streak of the season to nine consecutive triumphs.
Quad Cities (31-15, 68-46) notched an early 1-0 advantage during the second inning. Daz Cameron hit a one-out single and stole second base before reaching third on a Josh Rojas fly out. Ronnie Dawson followed with an RBI single.
The Kernels (20-26, 59-57) pulled even in the third inning, 1-1. Jimmy Kerrigan drew a one-out walk and later advanced to third base on a pair of wild pitches. Ben Rortvedt drove in Kerrigan with a two-out RBI single to tie the contest.
In the top of the fourth, the River Bandits surged back in front for a 3-1 lead. Quad Cities loaded the bases with two outs for Luis Payano, who produced a two-run single that drove in Troy Sieber and Cameron.
Both sides scored twice in the fifth resulting in a 5-3 Quad Cities lead. Sieber and Abraham Toro-Hernandez hit back-to-back homers to left field for the River Bandits. Cedar Rapids answered on Kerrigan's leadoff homer and Shane Carrier's RBI single.
A pair of errors allowed a pair of runs to score for the River Bandits during the top of the seventh. A throwing error after a ground ball by Dawson allowed Sieber to come home, and another error during a rundown against Dawson helped Rojas score for a 7-3 Quad Cities lead.
Within the home half of the seventh, the Kernels trimmed the difference to 7-4. Three consecutive walks loaded the bases. After a force out, Amaurys Minier delivered a sacrifice fly that brought in Rortvedt.
Two more runs in the eighth put Cedar Rapids down just 7-6. Christian Cavaness opened the inning with a leadoff home run. Kerrigan followed with a triple and scoring during an RBI single from Lewin Diaz. However, the only offense left for the Kernels was a two-out walk in the ninth from Joe Cronin, and Cedar Rapids would drop the one-run decision.
Jesus Balaguer (3-0) only allowed one run in one inning and was credited with the win. Tyler Watson (0-2) was charged for five runs in five innings within a loss. Salvador Montano pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his fifth save in as many chances.
Game two of this four-game series is slated for 6:35 p.m. Friday. The probable pitchers are Kernels right-hander Clark Beeker (10-3, 2.15) and River Bandits right-hander Yohan Ramirez (3-4, 4.15). Chris Kleinhans-Schulz will call the contest on 1450 KMRY AM and 93.1 KMRY FM and also online at www.kmryradio.com, www.kernels.com, and MiLB.TV.
Gates open at 5:30 p.m. for Friday's tilt, and the first 1,000 fans through the gates will receive a Mr. Shucks Belly Bobble Figure. It is also Kernels Friday Mug Club Night sponsored by Stadium Bar & Grill, Shuey's Restaurant & Lounge, Red's Public House, Mulligan's Pub, and Z 102.9. A special 16 oz. mug of regular draft beer or soda costs $6.00, and refills of regular draft beer or soda for that mug are only $3.00 at every Kernels Friday home game.
Fans can purchase 2017 Kernels regular season and playoff tickets 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.