CEDAR RAPIDS – The 2013 Clinton LumberKings will not have fond memories of Perfect Game Field. The Cedar Rapids Kernels finished off a sweep with a 4-3 comeback win on Monday night. With the defeat, Clinton fell to 0-6 this year at Cedar Rapids.
The LumberKings hurt themselves in the eighth inning, when the Kernels scored twice.
A fielding error by Taylor Ard at first base allowed Max Kepler to reach base. Kepler later scored the tying run on a wild pitch. Travis Harrison scored the go-ahead run for the Kernels on a fielder’s choice to second as Jamodrick McGruder failed to cut down the lead runner at the plate.
Earlier, the LumberKings fashioned their own comeback to take the lead.
With Clinton trailing 2-0, Ard led off the fourth inning with a triple, then scored its first run on Gaby Guerrero’s groundout.
In the sixth, both Guerrero and Tim Lopes scored on a defensive mistake from Cedar Rapids. With runners on second and third, Jose Berrios threw a wild pitch to score Guerrero. Catcher Tyler Grimes compounded the mistake with a throwing error as he attempted to erase Lopes at third. As the ball sailed into left field, Lopes scampered home for the go-ahead run.
The Kernels jumped on LumberKings’ starter Rigoberto Garcia in the opening frame. With two outs in the bottom of the first, Kepler roped a two-run double. Kepler finished the series with five hits, three runs scored and five runs driven in.
Brian Gilbert finished off the win for his second save. Alex Muren took home the win with two scoreless innings in relief. Jochi Ogando allowed two unearned runs in the eighth for a tough-luck loss.
Clinton returns home today to host the Beloit Snappers for a four-game series. The LumberKings turn to left-hander Scott DeCecco (8-7, 4.21 ERA) for the opener at 7 p.m. today, and the Snappers counter with right-hander Dylan Covey (0-1, 5.93).