Minor League Sports

Edwar Colina pitches Cedar Rapids Kernels out of 5-game losing streak

CEDAR RAPIDS — There are games when Edwar Colina looks every bit the part of a major league starting pitcher. One of those games came Monday afternoon.

The best way to describe the 21-year-old Venezuelan’s performance in a 3-2 win over Beloit at Veterans Memorial Stadium was big league-esque.

Eight great innings for the right-hander, four hits allowed, no earned runs, no walks and eight strikeouts were the specifics. He was great, helping his club end a five-game losing streak.

“His sinker was working. It was really good today,” said Kernels catcher Ben Rodriguez. “They didn’t have a lot of chances. Particularly early, the first time through the order, he was locating it inside and just tying up those guys. When you’re seeing 93-94, with sink on your hands, that’s tough to hit. He just coupled it with a slider away. Sped them up with the sinker in and slowed them down with the slider out.”

Colina struck out the side in the top of the first inning. Hard contact was impossible to come by for Beloit the entire game, with errors providing its only runs.

Quite a run the past month or so for Colina (6-3), whose earned run average has dropped a full run (to 2.66) since July 4. When he throws strikes, he can be a machine.

“Threw the crap out of it. He was great,” said Kernels Manager Toby Gardenhire. “It was really fun to watch him throw today. We needed somebody to kind of step up and do something like that.”

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The Kernels (60-53, 28-16) pulled a game back ahead of Beloit for first place in the Midwest League’s Western Division. Peoria could have joined them with a win Monday night.

Michael Davis hit a solo home run for C.R., which enjoys a day off Tuesday, before hitting the road for series at Clinton and Quad Cities. Second baseman Michael Helman had two hits in his Kernels debut, promoted from Rookie-level Elizabethton to replace infielder Jose Miranda, who was promoted to high-Class A Fort Myers.

The Midwest League announced Monday that Cedar Rapids catcher Ryan Jeffers was last week’s league player of the week and C.R.’s Jhoan Duran it’s pitcher of the week. Colina has a head start on earning that latter honor for this week.

l Comments: (319) 398-8259; jeff.johnson@thegazette.com

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