Strong start leads Kernels over Loons

Aaron Slegers (1-0) went six innings for the 5-3 victory

By Morgan Hawk / Cedar Rapids Kernels | April 9, 2014 10:42 PM ET

MIDLAND, MI - The Kernels topped the Great Lakes Loons 5-3 on Wednesday night. Aaron Slegers led the way with his second consecutive strong start. The Kernels tallied the first run of the game for the first time in 2014.

Slegers (1-0) went six innings in the win, allowing only a single run on four hits. He struck out six and walked none. In two starts this season he has struck out a combined 11 hitters and walked none.

The Kernels scored first in a game for the first time this season by jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the second inning. The team had fallen behind in all of the previous five games of the season. Mitch Garver powered a two-run home run over the wall in left field to put Cedar Rapids up by a pair. The shot scored Michael Quesada, who had walked to begin the inning.

Cedar Rapids extended the lead to 4-0 in the fourth inning. Garver again started the scoring when he doubled off the left field wall and came home on a two-out, infield RBI single by Tanner Vavra. Vavra then scored on Engelb Vielma's RBI single into left-center.

Great Lakes got on the board in the fourth inning with back to back doubles by Jacob Scavuzzo and Kyle Farmer, making the score 4-1.

The Kernels added a run in the eighth inning, increasing their lead to 5-1. Logan Wade tripled into the right-field corner to start the inning and later came home on Bryan Haar's RBI groundout.

After Slegers left after six innings, Brandon Bixler pitched the seventh and eighth innings for the Kernels. The left-hander went two scoreless and hitless innings, allowing two walks and striking out two. 

Hudson Boyd pitched the ninth inning and allowed two runs as the Loons cut the Kernels lead to 5-3. After a walk and a single, Alex Santana scored a pair with a two-out double down the left field line. However, Boyd got Brandon Trinkwon to pop out and end the game.

Jonathan Martinez (0-1) took the loss for Great Lakes, allowing four runs over five innings. He struck out four and walked three.

The Kernels conclude the three-game series at Great Lakes, the Midwest League affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers, on Thursday at 11:05 a.m. (CT). The Kernels play at Lansing beginning on Friday.

The Kernels are scheduled to send RHP Ryan Eades (0-1, 5.79) to the mound while Great Lakes is scheduled to start RHP Zachary Bird (0-1, 6.75)

The Kernels return home on April 14, opening up a six-game home stand against South Bend and West Michigan. The game on April 14 v. South Bend begins at 6:35 p.m. and is the first Dollar Monday of the season. Regular hot dogs, small popcorn, ice cream sandwiches, chips, and Cracker Jacks are each just $1 on Monday home games!

Tickets are available at! You can also visit the Kernels Ticket Office at Memorial Stadium or call 319-896-7560!

Kernels games are broadcast live on KMRY Radio (93.1 FM/1450 AM) and streamed online at!

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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