GENEVA, ILL. - Jordan Balazovic and the Cedar Rapids Kernels picked up a 5-1 triumph Saturday against the Kane County Cougars at Northwestern Medicine Field. The Kernels (13-4, 45-41) snapped a 19-inning scoreless streak by tallying four runs in the seventh inning within a come-from-behind win over the Cougars (7-10,
GENEVA, ILL. - Jordan Balazovic and the Cedar Rapids Kernels picked up a 5-1 triumph Saturday against the Kane County Cougars at Northwestern Medicine Field. The Kernels (13-4, 45-41) snapped a 19-inning scoreless streak by tallying four runs in the seventh inning within a come-from-behind win over the Cougars (7-10, 42-44).
Balazovic (4-1) allowed just three hits and one run while recording his third consecutive victory to begin the second half of the season. He allowed a leadoff double to Gabriel Maciel in the first inning, and Maciel later scored on a wild pitch. Following the double, Balazovic retired 10 consecutive batters to settle in to another strong start.
Mack Lemieux protected Kane County's 1-0 lead over six scoreless frames. Lemieux worked around six hits and one walk during the longest shutout start of his professional career. Four of the five baserunners that he stranded were stuck in scoring position.
Cedar Rapids surged in front, 4-1, in the top of the seventh. Andrew Bechtold led off with a single and advanced to third base on a David Banuelos double before scoring on Trey Cabbage's game-tying single. An error on a pickoff attempt allowed Bañuelos to score the go-ahead run. Later in the frame, Jean Carlos Arias increased the Kernels' lead with a two-run triple. Lane Ratliff (0-1) gave up all four runs for Kane County and was charged with the loss Saturday.
Arias drove in another run within the ninth inning to give the Kernels a 5-1 edge. Batting with runners at the corners and one out, Arias lined a single past Cougars reliever Jake Winston to bring in Cabbage.
Jovani Moran earned his team-high fourth save after tossing 2.2 scoreless innings of relief. He induced an 1-4-3 inning-ending double play in the seventh, stranded a pair of baserunners during the eighth, and struck out the side within the ninth.
This four-game series continues at 1:00 p.m. Sunday afternoon. Kernels left-hander Bryan Sammons (5-4, 2.47) is scheduled to pitch against Cougars right-hander Jeff Bain (7-3, 2.71). Chris Kleinhans-Schulz will cover the contest on 1450 KMRY AM and 93.1 KMRY FM and also online at www.kmryradio.com and www.kernels.com.
Cedar Rapids' next homestand begins Wednesday, July 11 and continues through Monday, July 16. Fans can purchase tickets for all Cedar Rapids 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.