Eastlake, Ohio- The Lake County Captains (13-13, 36-57) hit four home runs on Thursday night but could not defeat the Cedar Rapids Kernels (18-8, 58-38) as they fell by a final score of 9-7. The Captains have dropped three straight and seven out of the last eight games against the Western Division.
Centerfielder Jonathan Murphy took Captains’ starter Luis Dejesus deep in the third inning to give the Kernels a 1-0 lead. Dejesus gave up his 18th longball of the year, a Midwest League high.
The Captains used a big fly to take the lead in the bottom half of the inning. Centerfielder Logan Vick reached on a Kernels’ fielding error and came home on first baseman Joe Sever’s fifth home run of the year. Lake County lead 2-1 after three innings.
The wheels fell off for Dejesus in the fourth as Cedar Rapids sent ten men to the plate. After the dust settled, the Kernels scored five runs on five hits to take a 6-2 lead. A sacrifice fly by catcher Jairo Rodriguez, RBI single by left fielder Jeremias Pineda, two-run single by Murphy, and a RBI single by second baseman Jorge Polanco accounted for all of the runs.
Sever struck again in the fifth with a RBI double to left field, to cut the lead to 6-3.
Dejesus was hung with his tenth loss of the year, after five innings of work. He allowed six runs on seven hits with five walks and two strikeouts. James Stokes entered for the sixth inning as he looked to keep the deficit at three.
Solo home runs to left field by catcher Jeremy Lucas and second baseman Yhoxian Medina in the sixth inning cut the lead to one at 6-5. Lucas hit his fourth while Medina hit his first professional homer.
Two walks from Stokes set the table for a RBI single by designated hitter Tyler Grimes in the top of the seventh inning as the Kernels gained a run for a 7-5 lead at the stretch.
Cedar Rapids’ starter Josue Montanez allowed five runs (three earned) on seven hits in six innings. He earned his fourth win after three walks and six strikeouts in his outing. Hudson Boyd relieved Montanez for the seventh inning.
Vick laced a one-out double to left field in the seventh inning. A throwing error and a groundout by Sever clawed the Captains to within one after seven innings. Sever had four RBI’s on the night.
The Kernels put the game away with two more runs in the eighth inning. A hit batter, walk and an infield single loaded the bases for Polanco. Polanco flew out to right field but deep enough to plate a run. Right fielder Adam Walker followed with a RBI single to end Stokes’ night. Manager Scooter Tucker hooked Stokes and brought in reliever Felix Sterling. Sterling walked a batter but escaped the inning without any further damage.
Stokes was touched for three runs on four hits in two and one-third innings of work. He walked three and hit one batter.
Right fielder Anthony Santander launched a solo home run in the eighth inning to close the scoring at 9-7. Santander has five homers on the year.
Sterling finished the game with one and two-thirds innings of scoreless baseball.
Madison Boer entered in the ninth inning after Boyd gave up two runs in two innings. The Captains loaded the bases on two singles and a walk with two outs in the frame. With the Captains down to their final at-bat, Santander struck out to end the game.
Boer earned his first save after his walk on the tightrope in the ninth inning.
The Captains had twelve hits on the night. Sever led the way with three hits, four times on-base and four RBI’s. Every player reached base at-least once except for shortstop Dorssys Paulino.
On Friday night, the Cedar Rapids Kernels will stay in Eastlake for the finale of a three game series. RHP Jake Sisco (4-6, 3.75) will get the start for the Captains. The Kernels will counter with LHP Brett Lee (6-4, 3.54). First Pitch is scheduled for 7:00 PM from Classic Park.