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MWL: Kernels win season-high seventh straight
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- The Kernels won their seventh game in a row on Monday with a 4-2 victory over the Quad Cities River Bandits. The seven-game winning streak is a season-high. The Kernels are now 35-21 in the second half and 66-60 overall, matching a season-best six games above the .500 mark. Quad Cities fell to 26-30 in the half and 61-64 overall. The Kernels look to extend their winning streak to eight games on Tuesday in the second game of the series at 6:35 p.m.
Chih-Wei Hu (6-1) was terrific on the mound, collecting the win for the Kernels. The right-hander struck out eight over six innings. He allowed just one unearned run on three hits, allowing no walks. Hu has now recorded a win in six of his eight appearances this season.
The Kernels picked up a pair of unearned runs in the second inning to take the early 2-0 lead. Zack Larson reached on a throwing error by River Bandits shortstop Thomas Lindauer. Logan Wade followed with a RBI double down the left field line, scoring Larson from first base for the game’s first run. Wade quickly scored when J.D. Williams ripped a RBI triple to deep right-center, putting the Kernels up by two. It was the third triple for Williams in his last four games.
Quad Cities plated an unearned run in the top of the fifth inning to trim the Kernels lead to 2-1. J.D. Davis reached on a fielding error by Kernels third baseman Jonatan Hinojosa to begin the inning. He was then forced out on a fielder’s choice by Marc Wik. After a single by Brett Booth, Wik came home on a RBI double to right-center by James Ramsay.
The Kernels promptly got the run back in the bottom of the fifth inning, making the score 3-1. Jonatan Hinojosa doubled to the corner in left with one out and scored on Chad Christensen’s RBI single the opposite way into right.
The River Bandits tallied another unearned run in the top of the seventh inning, cutting the Kernels lead to 3-2. Davis again reached on an error to start the inning. He reached when second baseman Ryan Walker was charged with the error on a missed pop up to the right side. He stole second base and scored on another RBI hit by Ramsay. Ramsay plated Davis with a RBI single into shallow center to trim the Kernels lead to one run.
Brandon Bixler went 1 1/3 innings for the Kernels in relief, allowing one unearned run on one hit while striking out two and walking none. Dallas Gallant recorded the final five outs for his his fifth save. Gallant struck out four and allowed two hits.
The Kernels added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth inning, taking a 4-2 lead. Engelb Vielma began the inning with a single, and he scored on Mitch Garver’s RBI double.
Andrew Thurman (5-9) went six innings in the loss for the River Bandits. He allowed three runs (one earned) on six hits while striking out seven and walking none. Keegan Yuhl went two innings in relief, allowing one run on two hits while striking out one and walking none.
The Kernels square off with Quad Cities in game two of the series on Tuesday at 6:35 p.m. It’s a Twins Tuesday, sponsored by Great Clips! Get an on-line coupon from the Kernels Facebook page or email newsletter for a 2 for 1 ticket offer at Tuesday home games as part of Twins Tuesday, presented by Great Clips. The Kernels will wear special jerseys and one lucky fan will win a pair of Minnesota Twins tickets given away at every Tuesday home game.
RHP Kohl Stewart (3-5, 2.42) is scheduled to start game two while the River Bandits are expected to start LHP Blaine Sims (3-4, 4.30).