CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA - The Cedar Rapids Kernels hit four home runs including back-to-back-to-back blasts in a nine-run eighth inning to secure a 15-4 victory Wednesday against the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium. Cedar Rapids (25-25) clinched a series victory against Wisconsin (23-20) and
CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA - The Cedar Rapids Kernels hit four home runs including back-to-back-to-back blasts in a nine-run eighth inning to secure a 15-4 victory Wednesday against the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium. Cedar Rapids (25-25) clinched a series victory against Wisconsin (23-20) and can sweep this three-game set in Thursday's finale.
The Kernels were ahead, 6-4, when Jose Miranda opened the floodgates during the eighth. Miranda launched a grand slam to left field and was followed by solo shots from Jacob Pearson and Robby Rinn. Ben Rortvedt added a double and scored later in the frame on a double from Jordan Gore. Akil Baddoo batted next and hit a two-run round-tripper to cap the scoring.
Miranda's bases-loaded blast highlighted a career performance. He went 3-of-5 with his first professional grand slam, two RBI doubles, and a personal-high six total runs batted in. Rinn and Rortvedt also posted three hits Wednesday, and Baddoo scored a career-best four runs.
The 11-0 swing that closed Wednesday's game started during the third and fourth innings. Rinn singled with one out in the third and scored when Rortvedt hit a tie-breaking double. Within the fourth, Royce Lewis was hit by a pitch and stole second base prior to an RBI double from Miranda.
Wisconsin had previously tied the game, 4-4, in the top of the third. After back-to-back walks to open the frame, Trever Morrison reached on a bunt single coupled with an error that allowed Devin Hairston to score. Two batters later, a wild pitch to Pat McInerney helped Joantgel Segovia come in. McInerney walked and later scored with Morrison on Gilbert Lara's two-run double.
Lewis led the early offense as Cedar Rapids grabbed a 4-0 lead by the end of the second inning. Baddoo drew a first-inning leadoff walk and stole second base before Lewis hit an RBI single. Later in the frame, Lewis scored from second via Alex Kirilloff's RBI single. Lewis and Kirilloff increased the lead during the second with back-to-back two-out doubles.
Jovani Moran (3-2) posted a season-high-tying five strikeouts over 2.1 shutout innings to earn the victory over Bowden Francis (1-3), who allowed five runs over three frames but also registered a game-high six strikeouts. Calvin Faucher added two perfect innings of relief for his second hold as a Kernel.
Cedar Rapids wraps up its nine-game homestand Thursday with the finale of its three-game series against the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. Thursday's contest is scheduled for 6:35 p.m., and Chris Kleinhans-Schulz will call the game on 1450 KMRY AM and 93.1 KMRY FM and also online at www.kmryradio.com, www.kernels.com, and MiLB.TV.
Former MLB pitcher Jim Mecir will be at the ballpark Thursday as part of Clubfoot Awareness Night. Fans aged 18 and older can get a free raffle ticket to win one of three 40-inch flat screen televisions that will be given away on First Federal Credit Union Flat Screen Thursday. 94.1 KRNA Thirsty Thursday includes $2.00 prices on 12 oz. regular draft beer and 20 oz. bottled soda and water. College students that show their school ID at the Kernels Ticket Office can get a $9.00 package for a club ticket and two regular hot dogs for College Night.
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.