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MWL: Haar’s homers lead Kernels past Clinton

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- Bryan Haar hit both a grand slam and a three-run home run as the Kernels topped Clinton 9-5 in a rain-shortened game on Saturday night. Haar finished with seven runs batted in on the night after knocking out two long balls in his first two at-bats. Haar now has 10 home runs and 43 runs batted in. The game was called with one out in the seventh inning after the nights second rain delay. The game featured five total home runs.

Haar nailed the first of his two home runs in the bottom of the first inning. It was a three-run shot to deep left center, putting Cedar Rapids up 3-0. Zack Granite, who singled, and Engelb Vielma, who doubled, both came around to score.

Clintons Jack Reinheimer hit a solo home run to left in the second inning, cutting the Kernels lead to 3-1. It was Reinheimers first home run of the season.

Bo Altobelli started the bottom of the second inning with a solo home run to left. It was Altobellis first home run of the season, and it put the Kernels up 4-1. With two outs in the fourth, Granite reached on an error to extend the inning. Vielma and Chad Christensen drew back to back walks, setting the stage for Haars second plate appearance.

With the bases loaded, Haar smacked a grand slam to straight-away center, putting the Kernels in front 8-1. Haars second blast of the night was his 10th home run of the season, increasing his run batted in total to 43. The first grand slam for the Kernels in 2014 just snuck over the outstretched glove of Clintons centerfielder Aaron Barbosa, near the 400-foot mark on the center field wall.

Clinton added runs over their next three atbats to tighten the game. Barbosas RBI single in the third inning scored Isaiah Yates and made the score 8-2. Chantz Mack homered in the fourth inning. His solo shot and fourth of the season snuck just inside the pole in left and cut the Kernels lead to 8-3. The LumberKings scored twice in the fifth inning, making the score 8-5. Macks RBI sacrifice fly plated Zach Shank while Reinheimers RBI single scored Barbosa.

The Kernels added a run in the bottom of the fifth inning, taking a 9-5 advantage. After Christensen reached base via a throwing error, Jason Kanzler brought him in with a RBI single into left field.

Ryan Eades (5-7) collected the win for the Kernels. He went five innings and allowed five runs (four earned) on seven hits. He struck out five and walked none. Brandon Bixler went 1 1/3 innings for the Kernels, allowing no runs on one hit while striking out two and walking none.

Carlos Misell (6-8) took the loss for Clinton. He only lasted 1 2/3 innings, allowing eight runs (four earned) on five hits. He struck out three and walked two. Nick Valenza was terrific in relief for the LumberKings. He went 3 1/3 innings, allowing one unearned run on just one hit. He struck out three and walked none. Rafael Pineda went one scoreless and hitless inning in relief.

The tarp was put on the field twice during the game. The game was delayed for 31 minutes in the top of the fourth inning. The final delay ended the game with one out in the top of the seventh inning and lasted 30 minutes.

The series v. Clinton, the Midwest League affiliate of the Seattle Mariners, continues on Sunday afternoon at 2:05 p.m. Its a Planet X Run the Bases Sunday. Fans can run the bases, play catch in the outfield, and get autographs from the Kernels players on the field after the game. Fans can also play Travel Advisors Baseball Vacation Bingo for a chance to win a trip to Minneapolis to see the Twins play. Enjoy the balloon artistry of Papa Balloon, face painting by Kennedy, caricature artist Alison Bennett, and magician Jackson Green on the concourse during the game. World-class juggler Doug Sayers will also be on hand to perform too. Gates open at 1:00 p.m.

The Kernels are scheduled to send RHP Ethan Mildren (2-5, 4.98) to the mound while RHP Edwin Diaz (2-4, 3.66) starts for Clinton.
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