CEDAR RAPIDS — We’ve seen this before.
The Cedar Rapids Kernels won their sixth game in a row Tuesday night, 6-0, over Beloit at Veterans Memorial Stadium. That’s a heck of a start to the Midwest League’s second half.
But before you get altogether too giddy, recall they started the season back in April with a half-dozen straight wins, too. They sputtered from there, finishing the first half five games under .500.
Let’s see what happens this time around.
“We’ve got a few more games under our belt since (the first half). The guys are a little more experienced,” said acting Manager Brian Dinkelman. “Hopefully we can keep playing like we have these last six games. The first half was the first half, and this is a new half, so we won’t compare.”
A wise person once said it’s difficult to lose when you don’t give up any runs, and that’s what the Kernels (38-37 overall) have been doing. Or not doing.
This was a second straight shutout, keyed by the start of Edwar Colina. The right-handed Venezuelan (3-2) has really good stuff, including a sinking mid-90s fastball, and it was working.
He gave up just three hits and struck out a pair. The most important thing was just one walk, as that has been his bugaboo this season.
“I’ve worked on that, and (the pitching coaches) have helped me a lot,” Colina said. “I throw the ball and try to let them put it into play. Less walks is better for me. The more groundballs, flyballs that I get, the more innings I can throw.”
ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT
Jared Finkel finished up with three good innings for his second save. The offense came primarily from two swings.
Royce Lewis had a two-run single in the fourth inning. Jose Miranda hit a grand slam in the first.
Beloit starter Bryce Conley loaded the bases with a pair of walks on eight consecutive balls. Miranda swung at the next pitch and fouled one back just out of play, catching a reprieve, of sorts.
He swung at Conley’s next pitch, too, and jetted it just over the tall wall in left field for his seventh homer of the season.
“If he thought it was a good pitch to hit, something he can drive, I have no problem with it,” Dinkelman said, when asked about Miranda swinging after the opposing pitcher missed with eight consecutive pitches. “Not there. There was nobody out, the bases loaded, you’re trying to get a run in at least. Miranda’s an aggressive hitter. He got another good pitch to hit, and hit it out of the park.”
The teams conclude their three-game series Wednesday at noon.
l Comments: (319) 398-8259; firstname.lastname@example.org