Akins, Rodriguez Lift Kernels to 5-4 Win
CLINTON, IOWA - Jared Akins and Ben Rodriguez each hit home runs Thursday at LumberKings Stadium to power the Cedar Rapids Kernels toward a 5-4 victory against the Clinton LumberKings to open a four-game series. Blayne Enlow received credit for the win as Cedar Rapids (18-22) secured a 1-0 series lead versus Clinton (19-19).
The Kernels scored the first five runs of the contest and held on for a one-run triumph. Akins collected his second homer in as many days with a three-run blast in the first inning. Yeltsin Encarnacion scored during a double play within the third prior to Rodriguez's solo shot to the scoreboard behind the left-field wall that gave Cedar Rapids a 5-0 advantage.
Enlow (4-3) recorded a personal-best seven innings pitched while establishing a new career high for wins in a single season. He posted six strikeouts and allowed just two runs within his quality start. Enlow yielded an RBI groundout to Connor Scott in the fifth and a solo home run to Thomas Jones in the seventh.
Carlos Suniaga conceded two runs over the final two frames but managed to pick up his first save of the season in the 5-4 victory. He was tagged for a Will Banfield solo clout during the eighth and an RBI groundout from Christopher Torres within the ninth before inducing a game-ending groundout off the bat of Zach Scott.
Chris Vallimont (2-3) allowed all five Kernels runs and suffered the loss for Clinton. He tied Enlow with a game-high six strikeouts and also matched a career mark with seven innings pitched.
This four-game series continues Friday evening at 6:30 p.m. with Cedar Rapids right-hander Tyler Palm (1-3, 4.43) scheduled to face Clinton right-hander Alberto Guerrero (2-0, 3.10). Broadcast coverage with Chris Kleinhans-Schulz can be heard on 1450 KMRY AM and 93.1 KMRY and also online at www.kmryradio.com and www.kernels.com.
Cedar Rapids' next homestand runs from Monday, May 20 through Monday, May 27. Fans can purchase tickets for all Cedar Rapids Kernels home games by visiting www.kernels.com, going to the Kernels Ticket Office, or calling (319) 896-7560. The Kernels Ticket Office is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturdays. On Sundays when the Kernels have a home game, the Kernels Ticket Office will open at 11:00 a.m.
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