The Cedar Rapids Kernels pitchers were almost unhittable to combine for a 9-0 win over the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers on Thursday night at Perfect Game Field.
Cedar Rapids (28-14) scored four times in the bottom of the fourth inning to take the lead. Jair Camargo started the rally with a one-out double on a two-strike pitch. Seth Gray singled on an 0-2 count to put runners on the corners. Then, Kyler Fedko sent a slow roller up the third base line on a 2-2 pitch. The throw to first was wild. Camargo scored and Gray took third base.
Wander Javier lined a double to the wall in left on an 0-2 pitch and that scored both runners on base for a 3-0 lead. Javier took third on a wild pitch and scored on an infield grounder – on a 1-2 pitch to Alerick Soularie – for the final run of the inning and a 4-0 lead.
Wisconsin (26-16) struggled to get anything going against Kernels starting pitcher Sawyer Gipson-Long. Carlos Rodríguez had a single and a triple for both Wisconsin hits off Gipson-Long. The right-hander walked four and struck out seven over six innings without allowing a run.
The Kernels added a run in the seventh on a two-out single by Aaron Sabato in the seventh.
The shutout loss was the second of the season for the Timber Rattlers, who had not been shutout since a 1-0 loss to the Peoria Chiefs on April 10.
Cedar Rapids moved their lead over the Timber Rattlers in the Western Division first half playoff race to two games with Thursday’s win.
Game four of the series is Friday night at Perfect Game Field. Brandon Knarr (6-1, 1.17) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. The Kernels have named John Stankiewicz (5-1, 2.55) as their starter. Game time is 6:35pm.