CEDAR RAPIDS — Bryan Sammons was asked if he is able to sleep on the team bus, or if that’s an impossibility.
“We’re going to find out,” the Cedar Rapids Kernels pitcher said, with a slight smile.
The Kernels embarked on the most brutal of Midwest League road trips following their 4-1 loss Sunday afternoon to West Michigan at Veterans Memorial Stadium. They were scheduled to depart town around 6:30 p.m. and drive through the night to Dayton, Ohio.
That’s about an eight-hour ride, keeping in mind you lose an hour going to the Eastern Time Zone. Cedar Rapids plays the Dayton Dragons in the first game of a three-game series right away Monday night.
The finale is Wednesday night, followed by a 4 1/2 hour ride to Bowling Green, Ky. That’s back to the Central Time Zone.
Three games against the Hot Rods are on tap there, the final one Saturday night. Then all the gear will be reloaded for the drive home, which is over nine hours and, again, through the night.
At least everyone will have Mother’s Day off Sunday.
“It’s a long trip,” said Kernels Manager Toby Gardenhire. “It’s nice that we get the day off on the way back, but it’s a tough stretch. It’ll be kind of a grind for us. We’ll see how it goes.”
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Sammons, in particular, probably would have been able to sleep better had he been able to finish off what was a good start Sunday. He threw six shutout innings, but allowed a leadoff double in the seventh and a long one-out, two-run home run down the left-field line to Dylan Rosa.
That put West Michigan ahead, 2-1, with a pair of ninth-inning insurance runs ensuring the Whitecaps’ win of the rubber game of this three-game series. Cedar Rapids fell to 14-10.
“I felt pretty good today,” Sammons said. “Even the pitch he hit out, I executed fairly well. He just got to it.”
It was a fastball inside that Rosa turned on. Sammons’ record dropped to 0-3, though he has a good 3.00 earned run average.
“Today, I felt probably the best I have so far this season,” the left-hander from Western Carolina University said. “I feel I’ve definitely thrown better than 0-3, but that’s baseball. You can’t do anything about it.”
The Kernels got their run on a David Banuelos RBI double in the second inning. They had two on with none out in both the fourth and sixth innings but could not capitalize against West Michigan starter Eudis Idrogo, who had Sammons' luck in his four previous starts (0-2 record despite a 0.38 ERA).
“That’s one of the things we have done when we haven’t won,” Gardenhire said. “We haven’t been able to get guys in when they’re in scoring position. We’d been doing a better job lately, but not today.”
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