CEDAR RAPIDS — You can use so many analogies. But let’s go with this one, as far flung as it might be.
The Cedar Rapids Kernels keep trying to produce this beautiful, bountiful cornfield. Then some drought always comes along and ruins it.
Their latest chance at getting back to the .500 mark was thwarted Friday night by a lack of offense and a kid named Leandro Cedeno.
Peoria limited the Kernels to five hits and got a tiebreaking solo home run in the seventh inning from Cedeno in a 4-1 win at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Cedar Rapids is 23-25, still chugging along in quest of a break-even record. It was 7-8 and lost, 10-11 and lost, 11-12 and lost, 12-13 and lost.
You have to go all the way back to an April 5 win against Peoria to mark the last time the Kernels won as many as they lost. That was 1-1.
“That’s a good question,” Manager Brian Dinkelman said, when asked what his team needs to do to finally get over the proverbial hump. “We’ve played good ball here the last week to 10 days. Get ourselves close to that .500 mark, come back tomorrow and play hard again, see if we can get back to that number again.”
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It was a tough loss for Kernels starting pitcher Tyler Palm (1-4), who deserved way better. The independent ball refugee’s longest affiliated professional outing lasted 6 2/3 innings.
The right-hander gave up just five hits, allowing a run in the sixth and that Cedeno long ball. Peoria put things away with two runs in the ninth.
“He pitched great,” Dinkelman said. “Ran into a little trouble there in the sixth, but did a good job getting out of it with only one run scoring. Just made one bad pitch there in the seventh, hung a changeup, and the guy hit it out. He threw a heck of a game for us tonight.”
The Kernels host the Chiefs again Saturday night at 6:35. Peoria’s Nolan Gorman, the parent Cardinals’ top draft pick last year, went 0-for-4 in this game.
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