CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA - Starting pitcher Tyler Wells led the Cedar Rapids Kernels to a 2-1 win Thursday over the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium. The right-hander posted a shutout performance in a quality start to help Cedar Rapids (5-3) win the first contest in a three-game series against Wisconsin (3-5).
Wells, who was making his Kernels home debut, fired six scoreless innings to open Thursday's contest. He recorded eight strikeouts while allowing just five hits and two walks against the Timber Rattlers. Wells also stranded four baserunners in scoring position within his scoreless appearance.
Wisconsin right-hander Jordan Desguin matched zeroes with Wells over the first four innings. Desguin gave up back-to-back singles to start the first inning before escaping the jam. He retired 12 of the 13 batters that followed those early hits.
The Kernels finally broke through during the fifth and grabbed a 2-0 lead. Caleb Hamilton led off the inning by hitting a solo home run to left-center field for his first Kernels round-tripper. Three batters later, Jermaine Palacios extended the frame with a two-out walk. Travis Blankenhorn batted next and drilled an RBI triple down the right-field line that drove in Palacios.
In the eighth, Wisconsin split the difference to 2-1. Monte Harrison was hit by a pitch and replaced by pinch-runner Jonathan Oquendo, who advanced to third base after consecutive groundouts. Mario Feliciano tagged Tom Hackimer for an RBI double that cut the Timber Rattlers' deficit in half, but that would be Wisconsin's only run of the game.
The victory went to Wells (1-0), and the loss was charged to Desguin (1-1). Hackimer was credited with a hold - his first of the season - and Max Cordy earned his first save of the year after pitching a perfect ninth inning. Cedar Rapids secured its third straight victory and its best win streak of the season with Thursday's triumph.
This three-game series continues Friday at 6:35 p.m. with Kernels right-hander Sean Poppen (0-0, 2.57) slated to pitch against Timber Rattlers right-hander Thomas Jankins (0-0, 1.80). Catch the coverage of Friday's game over the airwaves on 1450 KMRY AM and 93.1 KMRY FM and also online at www.kmryradio.com, www.kernels.com, and MiLB.TV.
The first 500 fans at Friday's game will receive a 25th Anniversary Kernels T-Shirt. It is also the first Kernels Friday Mug Club Night, courtesy of Stadium Bar & Grill, Shuey's Restaurant & Lounge, Red's Public House, Mulligan's Pub, and Z 102.9. Fans can buy a refillable 16 oz. mug of regular draft beer or soda for just $6.00 and use that mug for $3.00 refills at any Friday home 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.