CLINTON – It’s the type of week that the Clinton LumberKings would like to forget. It’s also that type of week where maybe they find themselves out on the road.
Clinton dropped its fifth straight game Sunday afternoon, losing to Cedar Rapids 12-1 in a game (and series, for that matter) where the ball looked like a beach ball at the plate for the Kernels.
The Kernels accumulated 15 hits Sunday, and totaled 40 hits over the weekend sweep.
Edwin Diaz, the LumberKings’ starting pitcher, had seen the Kernels once already this year, and Cedar Rapids made Diaz sweat early.
Diaz walked the first two hitters of the game, then allowed back-to-back RBI singles that opened the game at 2-0. Cedar Rapids used eight hitters in the top of the first inning.
Clinton got its lone run in the second inning on a solo home run by Burt Reynolds that caught the jet stream on a blustery day and landed over the “401” sign in right-center field.
Cedar Rapids wasn’t done scoring, however.
In the third inning, Bryan Santy hit a two-run single after a Chad Christensen single and a fielder’s choice on an attempted double play.
Marcus Littlewood kept his well-timed hitting alive with a double in the fourth after a single in the first inning as the team’s No. 3 hitter.
“We had some good spurts out there,” Clinton manager Scott Steinmann said. “They’re a good team, and a lot better team than when we played them last. They pretty much capitalized on each mistake we made.”
Diaz struck out the first two hitters in the fourth before Ramire Cleto came in in relief. Diaz took his first losing decision of the season as he allowed four earned runs on four hits while walking five and striking out five.