Pair of Four-Run Innings Lead Kernels Past Chiefs
Cedar Rapids, IA- The Cedar Rapids Kernels did their scoring in bunches and then held off a furious Peoria rally to defeat the Chiefs 8-4 on Friday. Chiefs right-hander Dionys Rodriguez made his fourth start of the season and his first against Cedar Rapids this season. The right-hander cruised through
Cedar Rapids, IA- The Cedar Rapids Kernels did their scoring in bunches and then held off a furious Peoria rally to defeat the Chiefs 8-4 on Friday.
Chiefs right-hander Dionys Rodriguez made his fourth start of the season and his first against Cedar Rapids this season. The right-hander cruised through the first, punching out a pair, but he encountered trouble in the second.
Rodriguez surrendered consecutive walks to open the inning and give the Kernels a boost. With runners at first and second, catcher Noah Cardenas doubled down the left field line to score a run and give Cedar Rapids a 1-0 lead. The next batter, Misael Urbina, singled into center and doubled the lead to 2-0. With runners on the corners, Jose Salas recorded a sac fly to make it 3-0. Two batters later, Ben Ross brought home a run with a sac fly of his own to extend the lead to 4-0. Following Rodriguez’s third walk of the inning, he was lifted after 1.2 innings. Chris Gerard recorded the final out of the inning.
In the fourth, Gerard fell victim to some bad luck. With one on and one out in the inning, an error on Peoria right fielder Tyler Reichenborn placed runners at first and second. Emmanuel Rodriguez followed with a single to score Keoni Cavaco and make it 5-0. Then, with runners on the corners, Cedar Rapids took a page out of Peoria’s book. The Kernels stole home on a successful double steal to boost the lead to 6-0. Then, Kala’i Rosario, who leads the Midwest League in batting average in the month of May, smashed a two-run homer to left to give the Kernels an 8-0 advantage. All four runs charged to Gerard were unearned.
It was a bullpen night for Cedar Rapids after Kernels starter Marco Raya exited after three innings. The Kernels turned to Kyle Jones out of the bullpen. Peoria scratched a run in the fifth on a sac fly to make it 8-1.
The Peoria offense finally broke through against Jones in the top of the eighth. After back-to-back singles from Francisco Hernandez and Victor Scott, a wild pitch placed runners at second and third. Then, a Jose Salas fielding error opened the door. The second baseman whiffed on a one-hopper off the bat of Nathan Church, allowing two runs to score. A Brody Moore double then plated Church to make it 8-4.
In the ninth, Peoria loaded the bases against Cedar Rapids right-hander Charlie Neuweler with just one out. The Kernels turned to Regi Grace with the tying run at the plate. He recorded a strikeout and a flyout to end the game and ultimately stymie the Peoria rally.
Hernandez had two hits for Peoria despite entering the game in the bottom of the seventh. Catcher Jimmy Crooks reached three times in the loss.
The series continues Saturday from Cedar Rapids. Alex Cornwell is the probable starter for Peoria. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.