CEDAR RAPIDS — He had two second basemen in his starting lineup originally Monday night.
Hey, give Brian Dinkelman a break. This was his first game as a professional manager.
“Big bump in pay,” he kidded, before the Cedar Rapids Kernels beat Beloit, 3-0, at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Dinkelman normally is C.R.’s hitting coach but is assuming the reigns of the club until Thursday. Manager Toby Gardenire is taking three days of vacation, visiting his dad, Ron, the skipper of the Detroit Tigers.
Dinkelman just came off vacation. The parent Minnesota Twins, as well as other major league organizations, encourage their minor league staff members to take a bit of time off to remain fresh.
“It’s exciting to have the opportunity to be manager for a couple of days,” said Dinkelman, who actually lives in Cedar Rapids in the offseason with his wife and young daughter. “To see what it’s like to run a team and everything, in case I get an opportunity to do it somewhere at some point. Just a little experience. See what it’s like to go through a managerial day in baseball. I am excited.”
Dinkelman is in charge of everything. It’s not just the lineup, but employing defensive shifts, daily player report time and pregame work schedule.
He already has had chances to be third-base coach. And he turned out not to be a jinx here, which might have been the most important thing.
The Kernels got eight shutout innings from starting pitcher Bryan Sammons (4-4) to improve to 5-0 in the Midwest League’s second half. They moved to break even at 37-37 overall, too.
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Sammons allowed just five hits, including three in the eighth inning. The first of those hits was erased via double play, with the left-hander getting Nick Allen to fly deep to left with two outs and runners on second and third.
Jordan Gore had a RBI single in the third inning for C.R., with Jose Miranda’s RBI double and Andrew Bechtold’s bases-loaded walk providing insurance in the eighth. The teams play again Tuesday night at 6:35.
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