PEORIA, ILL. - Aaron Whitefield recorded his first career multi-homer performance Monday at Dozer Park as the Cedar Rapids Kernels defeated the Peoria Chiefs, 8-2. Whitefield helped Cedar Rapids total a season-high four home runs and 16 hits, and that offense supported right-hander Clark Beeker and the Kernels for a victory to open a three-game road trip.
Whitefield tallied a career-high four hits in a 4-for-5 effort and clubbed two late home runs in a wire-to-wire win for the Kernels (6-5). He hit a solo shot in the sixth inning to knock out Chiefs southpaw John Kilichowski, and he added a two-run blast in the ninth against Greg Tomchick that brought Cedar Rapids to its winning margin of 8-2. Whitefield's multi-homer game was the first by a Kernel since Zander Wiel's two round-trippers September 5, 2016 against the Clinton LumberKings.
Jaylin Davis and Lewin Diaz also went deep in Monday's triumph. Davis tagged Kilichowski for a solo home run during the top of the third inning, and he later produced an RBI single in the eighth for a multi-hit effort. Diaz recorded his first Kernels homer with a fifth-inning solo shot.
Beeker (1-1) delivered a stellar performance on the mound for his first Midwest League victory. He notched a personal-best nine strikeouts over a career-high 7.2 innings pitched while allowing just two runs. Beeker's great outing got off to an efficient start as he needed 11 pitches or fewer to get through five of his first six frames.
The Kernels opened their wire-to-wire win with tallies in each of the first two innings. Mitchell Kranson kicked off the scoring on a two-out RBI single in the opening stanza. Brandon Lopez hit an RBI single of his own during the second.
Kilichowski (0-2) took the loss for Peoria (5-5) after giving up five runs and 12 hits over five-plus frames. The Chiefs scored their only runs Monday with a second-inning solo homer by Ryan McCarvel and an eighth-inning triple from Stefan Trosclair.
This three-game series continues Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. with Kernels right-hander Tyler Beardsley (1-0, 1.80) scheduled to pitch against Chiefs right-hander Bryan Dobzanski (0-0, 1.50 ERA). Catch the coverage of Tuesday's game with Chris Kleinhans-Schulz on 1450 KMRY AM and 93.1 KMRY FM and also online at www.kmryradio.com and www.kernels.com.
Cedar Rapids' next homestand runs from Thursday, April 20 through Wednesday, April 26 with visits from the Kane County Cougars and the Burlington Bees. 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.