L-Kings finish sweep of Kernels
Alexi Casilla hit a leadoff home run for the Kernels but that would be all the offense that Cedar Rapids would muster as the Clinton Lumber Kings finished off a three-game sweep of the Kernels by taking a 6-1 win in front of 4,184 fans at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Casilla launched a solo shot off Clinton starter Eric Hurley to raise hopes of a victory but Hurley limited the Kernels to five more hits over seven innings. The Texas prospect struck out 10 Kernels and walked just one in improving to 9-2 on the year.
Cedar Rapids threatened to do some damage in the sixth when it loaded the bases with no outs but Hurley struck out the side to quell the riot. Again it was Casilla who tried to jumpstart the Kernels by drawing a walk to lead off the inning. Freddy Sandoval and Michael Collins followed with infield singles before Hurley chopped down the next three batters.
Clinton scored once in the fourth to tie the game and took the lead in the sixth when a throwing error by reliever Michel Simard allowed Casey Benjamin to score from third. The Lumber Kings added insurance runs in the seventh with a three spot then tacked on one more in the eighth to account for the final margin of victory.
Tug Hulett, son of former big leaguer Tim Hulett, was 2-for-3 in the Clinton attack and catcher Craig Hurba was 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.
The Kernels actually out-hit Clinton 10-9 but stranded 10 runners on base.
Ronnie Ray made a solid transition into the starting rotation. Ray, who had not allowed an earned run in his last seven appearances, made his first start of the season after being moved to the rotation. He gave up just one run over five innings and held Clinton to just four hits while striking out five, including the first batter he faced.
Cedar Rapids, which has now lost its last six games in a row, travels to Peoria for a four-game series with the Chiefs beginning Saturday night at O'Brien Field. The Kernels return home July 21st.
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Midwest League Stories from July 15, 2005
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