Dragons fall to Kernels

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Midwest League batting leader Rubel Cespedes had two hits, including a home run, and drove in two runs to lead the Cedar Rapids Kernels to an 8-5 victory over the Dayton Dragons on Saturday. 

The Dragons took an early 2-0 lead, scoring single runs in the first and third innings before Cedar Rapids responded with one run in the third and four more in the fifth to take a 5-2 lead.

Dayton opened the sixth inning with three straight singles from Sal Stewart, Hector Rodriguez and Ruben Ibarra to produce a run and make it 5-3, but the next three Dragons hitters were strikeouts victims as they left two men on base in the inning. Cedar Rapids responded with a run in the bottom of the sixth to again lead by three runs at 6-3.

The Dragons pulled to within one run in the seventh when Ethan O’Donnell singled with two outs and Stewart followed with a two-run home run to left to make it 6-5.  The homer was Stewart’s first of the season.  But the Kernels again responded, scoring two runs in the bottom of the seventh to make it 8-5 and close out the scoring.

The Dragons finished with eight hits. Stewart was 2 for 4 and raised his batting average to .323.  He scored two runs and drove in two. Rodriguez was 1 for 4 and finished the day batting a team-leading .414.

Dragons starting pitcher Jared Lyons (0-1) pitched well early, allowing just one unearned run over the first four innings, but he was charged with three runs in the fifth and absorbed the loss.

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