Emmanuel Rodriguez hit a home run and scored three runs as the Cedar Rapids Kernels defeated the Dayton Dragons 4-2 on Friday night.
Cedar Rapids scored two runs in the top of the first inning to jump out to an early lead. The Dragons responded with a run in the bottom of the first when Edwin Arroyo singled, advanced to third on a hit by Austin Callahan, and scored when Justice Thompson grounded into a double play to make it 2-1.
But the Dragons could not score again until the ninth inning as Cedar Rapids added single runs in the third and fifth to extend their lead to 4-1.
In the ninth, Thompson led off the frame with a base hit to center field and Austin Hendrick singled to move Thompson to second. With one out, Mat Nelson singled to right to drive in Thompson and make it 4-2, putting the tying run on base. But Jack Rogers struck out for the second out, and Wendell Marrero struck out to end the game.
Dayton finished 1 for 14 with runners in scoring position.
Dragons starting pitcher Julian Aguiar (2-1), the Midwest League pitcher of the month in May, suffered his first loss of the year. He pitched the first four innings, allowing three runs on four hits with four walks and five strikeouts.