CEDAR RAPIDS, Ia. –– The Lake County Captains (15-11, 42-54) fell behind early and attempted a late-inning rally but was unsuccessful as the Cedar Rapids Kernels (13-13, 44-52) took the second straight game of the series by a 4-3 final score.
Just like Wednesday night, Cedar Rapids took an early lead in the first inning. Second baseman Ryan Walker coaxed a leadoff walk and then he stole second base. First baseman Chad Christensenwalked, putting runners at first and second with one out. CatcherMitch Garver singled to load the bases. Right fielder Alex Swimsingled home Walker and Christensen to take a 2-0 lead. Centerfielder Jason Kanzler singled to reload the bases but Captains’ starter Dace Kime got out of any further damage.
Lake County got four singles in the first four innings against Kohl Stewart, the Twins’ 2013 1st round draft pick (4thoverall) but could not get a runner past second base.
In the top of the fourth inning, third baseman Paul Hendrix batted with runners on first and second with two outs. Stewart got Hendrix to strike out to end the inning. Hendrix said a few choice words to home plate umpire Adrian Gonzalez and was ejected from the ballgame.
The Kernels added another run in the fourth inning to make the lead three runs. Designated hitter J.D. Williamswalked and stole second base before crossing the plate on shortstop Engelb Vielma’s RBI single to center field.
Kime pitched into the fifth inning before coming out of the game for southpaw Wander Beras. Kime fell to 5-11 on the year after giving up three runs on five hits in four and two thirds innings. He walked four and struck out four batters.
On the home side, Stewart pitched five shutout innings to earn his third win of the season. He scattered four hits and three strikeouts. Jared Wilson entered for the sixth inning and pitched two scoreless framed to follow.
Kanzler opened the sixth inning with a triple to right field. Beras uncorked a wild pitch to the backstop that brought Kanzler home from third.
Beras surrendered one run on one hit in one and one third of an inning. Righty Trevor Frank came in relief for the seventh and retired the side with two strikeouts.
Lake County added their first run of the game in the eighth inning against reliever Hudson Boyd. Second basemanClaudio Bautista tripled with one out to left field. Center fielder Clint Frazier grounded out to short, scoring Bautista. The Captains were down 4-1.
Justin Brantley worked around a single in the eighth inning to keep the Kernels scoreless.
The Captains started a rally in the ninth inning but unfortunately came up short. After retiring the first two batters,Nick Burdi walked the next two batters. A Burdi wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position. Right fielderJorge Martinez singled home both runners to make it a one-run game. Shortstop Ivan Castillo singled to left field, but the tying run was thrown out at third base to end the game.
Burdi picked up his first save despite two runs allowed in the ninth.
The Captains outhit the Kernels eight to seven in the game. Castillo and catcher Eric Haase led the Captains with two hits each. Frazier’s hitting streak was extended to nine games while Hendrix’s and Nellie Rodriguez’s were snapped.