Gibbons Guides Kernels to 7-0 Shutout
GEVENA, Ill. - Cedar Rapids shutout the Kane County Cougars, 7-0, on Saturday night. Sam Gibbons (5-2) earned the win. The right-hander struck out a season-high nine in nine scoreless innings. Gibbons retired 10 in a row at one point and allowed just four hits, a walk and a hit batsmen.
Chris Oliver (2-2) suffered the loss for Kane County (27-9, 63-41). The right-hander allowed five unearned runs on five hits and four walks while striking out two over five innings.
Cedar Rapids (21-15, 62-44) took a 2-0 lead on a pair of unearned runs in the top of the third. Rafael Valera led off the inning with a single to right. Tanner English advanced Valera to second with a sacrifice bunt up the third base line. Nick Gordon then drew a walk, giving the Kernels runners on first and second. Two batters later, Zack Larson reached on a Cougars fielding error with two outs. The error scored both Valera and Gordon.
The Kernels extended their lead to five with three unearned runs in the top of the fifth. Gordon reached on a Cougars fielding error to begin the inning. Edgar Corcino advanced Gordon to second with a groundout to the right side. Larson followed Corcino with a walk, giving the Kernels runners on first and second. Brett Doe put the Kernels up 3-0 with a two-out RBI single to left, plating Gordon. Tyler Kuresa loaded the bases full of Kernels after drawing a walk. Alex Real extended the Cedar Rapids lead to 5-0 with a two-run double down the right field line, scoring both Larson and Doe.
Cedar Rapids added their final two runs in the ninth. A leadoff walk to Brian Navarreto followed by a single from Valera gave the Kernels runners on first and second. English put the Kernels up 6-0 with an RBI double to center, scoring Navarreto from second. Three batters later, Larson drew a walk, loading the bases full of Kernels. Doe followed Larson with an RBI bases loaded walk, bringing in Valera from third for the final run of the night.
Real and Valera led the Kernels with two hits each. Real went 2-for-4 with two doubles and two RBI while Valrea finished the evening 2-for-4 with two runs.
Gordon extended his on-base streak to 11 games with a single in the first while Larson extended his on-base streak to 12 games with a walk in the first. English extended his on-base streak to 14 games with an RBI double in the ninth.
The Kernels conclude a three-game series tomorrow evening v. the Kane County Cougars. First pitch in the series finale is at 1:05 p.m. from Fifth Third Bank Ballpark. LHP Luke Westphal (1-2, 3.00) gets the start for Cedar Rapids while RHP Brad Keller (6-8, 2.44) counters for Kane County.
The Kernels open a six-game homestand on Tuesday, August 4th, v. the Dayton Dragons. Tuesday's game v. the Dragons is a Twins Tuesday presented by Great Clips. Get an online 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 that will be sold via a silent auction at the end of the season and one lucky fan will win a pair of Minnesota Twins tickets given away at every Tuesday home game.
Tickets are available online at www.kernels.com. You can also visit the Kernels Ticket Office at Veterans Memorial Stadium or call 319-896-7560. Morgan Hawk brings you the action of Kernels games live on KMRY Radio (93.1 FM/1450 AM) and online at www.kernels.com.
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