Friday, August 01, 2014
FRIDAY SCOREBOARD - MWL - Kernels at Beloit, suspended, rain, tied 0-0 in 2nd
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Cedar Rapids Kernels Baseball

Kernels game suspended at Beloit

BELOIT, Wis. - The Midwest League baseball game between the Cedar Rapids Kernels and Beloit Snappers was suspended in the second inning Friday night due to inclement weather with the score tied, 0-0.

The game will be resumed at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, followed by the regularly scheduled game at 7 p.m. Both contests will be nine innings.

Bryan Haar drew a walk to begin the top of the second inning for the Kernels. He will be on first base with nobody out when the game continues Saturday.

Friday's game was delayed due to rain and hail before being suspended.


Hot ticket! Joe Mauer joining Kernels

People tell Cedar Rapids Kernels Manager Jake Mauer all the time that he's a spitting image of his younger brother Joe, a former American League MVP with the Minnesota Twins and a six-time all-star.

Now baseball fans here will get to see for themselves when Joe Mauer joins the Kernels next week on an injury rehab assignment. If all goes well, Mauer will play Tuesday night against Wisconsin.

"I'm ecstatic," said Kernels General Manager Doug Nelson, who anticipates a sellout of more than 5,500 fans at Veterans Memorial Stadium. "When we decided to make the Twins our affiliate, this is one of the situations we were hoping would occur."

Mauer will practice and take batting practice with the Kernels Monday afternoon. If there are no complications, he will play for the Kernels Tuesday night in their Midwest League game at 6:35 p.m.



Slegers promoted from Kernels to Miracle

The Minnesota Twins have promoted pitcher Aaron Slegers from the Cedar Rapids Kernels to the Fort Myers Miracle in the Florida State League.

Slegers, a 6-foot-10 right-hander, compiled a 7-7 record and 4.53 ERA in 20 starts for the Kernels. He struck out 90 batters in 113.1 innings, allowing 118 hits and 20 walks.

The Twins selected Slegers in the fifth round of the 2013 draft from Indiana University.

Matt Batts, a left-handed pitcher, will replace Slegers on the Kernels' roster. Batts compiled a 2-0 record and 2.05 ERA in four starts for Elizabethton in the Appalachian League this season. He struck out 25 batters in 22 innings, with only three walks.

The Twins picked Batts in the 17th round of this year's draft from North Carolina Wilmington.


Murphy helps Kernels stay in 1st place

Max Murphy grew up rooting for the Minnesota Twins and won the Kirby Puckett Award during his collegiate career at Bradley University, so imagine his delight when his favorite team selected him in the ninth round of the draft this summer.

"It was cool getting drafted by them," said Murphy, who is from Robinsdale, Minn. "It was incredible. It was awesome."

Murphy used to drive through Cedar Rapids along I-380 on his trips from Minnesota to Bradley University in Peoria, Ill., but he never stopped in town. The outfielder is here now, however, as a Twins farm hand.

Murphy helped the Cedar Rapids Kernels top Burlington, 6-1, Thursday before 3,059 fans at Veterans Memorial Stadium to stay in first place in the Western Division of the Midwest League.



Kernels climb into tie for 1st place

It has been a long road back to the top for the Cedar Rapids Kernels, but when they topped Burlington, 3-2, in 11-inning walk-off fashion on Wednesday night, they pulled into a tie atop the Midwest League’s Western Division standings.

The Kernels rode their way to the top on the shoulders of second baseman Ryan Walker.

Walker had three hits in six at-bats and all three Cedar Rapids RBIs, including the game-winner in the 11th inning when he drove in Max Murphy and sent 2,424 fans home happy from Veterans Memorial Stadium.

Walker has ridden the bench much of the past two weeks, seeing action in just one of the team’s six games on their recent road trip, but he’s making the most of his opportunities.

“We had two guys behind me who I knew could do the same thing,” Walker said. “Luckily he threw me one and I got good contact on it.”

Walker may have played down his role, but his manager was impressed.

“He’s been on the bench a little bit, didn’t say a word,” Jake Mauer said. “When he gets a chance to play, he made the most of it.”

Kane County fell to Wisconsin, 2-0, Wednesday night, allowing the Kernels to pull even with the Cougars on top of the Western Division standings for the second half of the season.

The Kernels started the night in a three-way tie for second place with Quad Cities and Peoria. Both of those teams lost Wednesday, dropping them both even with Wisconsin, a game behind Cedar Rapids and Kane County.

The victory assures the Kernels of a series win over Burlington, the club’s seventh straight series win.

In addition to Walker’s heroics, the Kernels' pitching staff once again delivered.

Cedar Rapids starting pitcher Ryan Eades had perhaps his best start of the 2014 season, facing just three Burlington Bees batters over the minimum possible in his seven innings of work.



Pitching lifts Kernels into playoff race

In mid-June, after a disappointing first half to their Midwest League season, the Cedar Rapids Kernels limped into the MWL’s All-Star break with a 31-39 record, not only 14 games behind Western Division leader Kane County but also 7.5 games behind the second place Burlington Bees.

The latter is important because, in the world of Class A minor league baseball, seasons are split into two halves, with the first and second place teams in each division, each half-season, earning berths in the postseason playoff series.

Kane County and Burlington snatched the MWL West spots in the first half, leaving Cedar Rapids, Quad Cities, Clinton, Beloit, Peoria and Wisconsin to slug it out in the second half for two more spots, with each team starting with fresh 0-0 records June 19.

With Peoria, Wisconsin and Quad Cities all assembling winning records in the first half, it was logical to assume that those three teams would contend for the Western Division’s two second-half playoff spots – and they have been doing just that.

Entering Wednesday, Peoria and Quad Cities were tied for second place in the Division’s second-half standings, trailing Kane County by just one game, and Wisconsin is two games back.

Clinton and Beloit have repeated their first-half fortunes, each at least 11 games under .500 and filling the final two spots in the standings, as they did in the first half.



Kernels suspend Boyd for breaking rules

The Cedar Rapids Kernels have suspended relief pitcher Hudson Boyd for violating team rules, The Gazette reported Tuesday.

Boyd's last appearance for the Kernels came on Thursday, July 24 at Bowling Green, when he pitched two scoreless innings. The Kernels returned from a six-game road trip to Bowling Green (Ky.) and Dayton (Ohio) on Tuesday.

Kernels Manager Jake Mauer and Boyd declined to reveal what led to the suspension.

Boyd, 21, has compiled a 4-2 record and 4.53 ERA with seven saves this season.


Kernels trimmed by Dayton, 3-2

DAYTON, Ohio - The Cedar Rapids Kernels are coming home in the thick of a pennant race in the Midwest League, but they lost an opportunity to gain ground Monday night.

The Kernels were trimmed by Dayton, 3-2, before 8,118 fans at Fifth Third Field in the final game of their road trip.

Cedar Rapids could have pulled within one game of Kane County for first place in the second-half standings in the Western Division with a victory. Instead, the Kernels find themselves two games behind Kane County with 34 games left in the regular season.

Kane County leads the Western Division with a 22-14 record. Cedar Rapids, Peoria and Quad Cities are tied for second place at 20-16. Burlington is sitting at 19-16 and Wisconsin is 19-17 in the compact standings.



Chih-Wei Hu named Pitcher of Week

The Midwest League announced Monday that Kernels pitcher Chih-Wei Hu has been named the Midwest League Pitcher of the Week for the period July 21-27.

In two starts, Hu allowed no earned runs (one unearned run) over 12 innings, walked three and struck out 16 while picking up the win in both starts.

The Twins signed Hu as a non-drafted free agent in 2012. The Taichung, Taiwan native pitched for the GCL Twins last season. He is 3-0 with a 1.50 ERA in four starts for the Kernels and has struck out 25 batters in 24 innings, walking only five.

Hu is the first Kernel this season to receive Player or Pitcher of the Week honors. His next scheduled start is Thursday at Perfect Game Field against the Burlington Bees.


Kernels promote Kanzler, add Max Murphy

The Cedar Rapids Kernels and Minnesota Twins announced Monday that outfielder Jason Kanzler has been promoted to Fort Myers in the Florida State League and outfielder Max Murphy has joined the Kernels from Elizabethton in the Appalachian League.

The Twins selected Murphy in the ninth round of the 2014 draft from Bradley University. He played in 34 games at Elizabethton, batting .371 with nine home runs and 25 RBIs and was named the Appalachian League Player of the Week July 14.

Kanzler played in 84 games for the Kernels, batting .284 with nine homers and 48 RBIs. He stole 15 bases in 22 attempts.

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Kernels Calendar

April 3
2014 season opener

Midwest League Standings

Western Div.
xz-KERNELS (Twins) 48
Championship (Best-of-5)
x-Quad Cities (Astros) 43
.623 4.5
Wednesday, Sept. 11
xy-Beloit (A's) 34
35 .493 13.5
Quad Cities 3, South Bend 2
x-Clinton (Mariners)
.486 14.0
Thursday, Sept. 12
Burlington (Angels) 30
Quad Cities 5, South Bend 0
Peoria (Cardinals)
Saturday, Sept. 14
Wisconsin (Brewers) 30
Quad Cities 4, South Bend 2
Kane County (Cubs) 25
(Quad Cities wins series, 3-0)
Eastern Div.
xz-Bowling Green (Rays)
.629 --
x-Great Lakes (Dodgers)
.580 3.5
Dayton (Reds)
.529 7.0
xy-South Bend (D-Backs) 37
.529 7.0
West Michigan (Tigers)
.522 7.5
Lake County (Indians)

x-Fort Wayne (Padres) 29
Lansing (Blue Jays)

FINAL (2nd Half)
x-Clinched playoff; y-won 1st half; z-won 2nd half

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