The Cedar Rapids Kernels used another impressive performance from a starting pitcher to beat the Quad Cities River Bandits 5-2 on Sunday night at Modern Woodmen Park. Kai-Wei Teng tossed 7.0 innings and allowed just one unearned run on four hits to pick up the win. That unearned run is the only run the Bandits have put up in 16.0 innings against Cedar Rapids' two starting pitchers in the series.
The Kernels (11-6, 50-37) took the lead in the very first inning against Quad Cities starting pitcher Jose Bravo. With two outs in the frame, Gabe Snyder hammered a solo home run to right field to stake Cedar Rapids to a 1-0 advantage.
The Bandits (10-6, 53-29) were able to even the score with help from a Kernels error in the fourth. The first batter of the inning, Cesar Salazar, was hit by a pitch from Teng and moved to second on a wild pitch. After Oscar Campos reached on an infield single in the next at bat, the River Bandits had two on with no outs. Alex McKenna struck out for the first out of the inning and then Carlos Machado grounded a ball to third that led to a 5-4 putout. Second baseman Daniel Ozoria tried to finish off a double play with a relay to first, but the throw was low and skipped by Snyder at first to allow Salazar to touch home plate.
The tie score remained until there were two outs in the top of the sixth inning. Bravo retired the first two hitters of the frame without trouble, but then walked Snyder to continue the inning. Jared Akins and Chris Williams took advantage by lining back-to-back RBI doubles that put the Kernels back in front for good. Cedar Rapids added sacrifice flies in both the eighth and ninth innings to grow their lead.
The River Bandits managed one more run the rest of the way and it crossed the plate in the bottom of the eighth. Austin Dennis lined an opposite field single to right and then stole both second and third base. That advancement allowed him to score on a groundout to shortstop from Freudis Nova.
Bravo was saddled with the loss, allowing three runs in 5.2 innings. The right-hander struck out six and scattered five hits. Hunter Martin and Devin Conn each surrendered one run in relief.
Jacob Pearson and Akins led the Kernels with two hits. Campos managed two hits for the River Bandits, recording multiple hits for the seventh time in 11 games.
The River Bandits and Kernels will close out the series on Monday night at 6:35 p.m. RHP Felipe Tejada (4-0, 2.67) will be on the mound as the Bandits try to avoid their first series sweep of the year. Cedar Rapids will call on RHP Austin Schulfer (6-4, 2.40) to attempt to finish of the sweep. All fans will be allowed to ride the Ferris Wheel free of charge during the game. In addition, it is half-price ticket night thanks to Modern Woodmen.
All River Bandits games are broadcast on 1170 K-BOB and TuneIn Radio. Home games are also available with video on MiLB.TV.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.