Thanks to a 4-run sixth inning, the Kane County Cougars handed the Cedar Rapids Kernels a 5-4 defeat Monday night at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark in Geneva.
Leading 4-1 entering the bottom of the sixth, the Kernels (45-68) handed the game over to the bullpen, which was unable to hold the advantage for the second straight game.
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Nick Mutz (0-1) replaced Aaron Meade, who started and worked 5 innings. Mutz walked the first two batters he faced before getting a flyball out.
That was the last out recorded by Mutz. Tim Ferguson singled home Michael Antonio to pull the Cougars (56-57) within 2 runs. Kevin David tripled into right-center, bringing home Dean Espy and Ferguson. David later scored on a wild pitch from Michael Johnson, who'd relieved Mutz, to give the Cougars a 1-run lead.
Edwin Carl (5-2) protected the lead through the seventh, and Kellen Moen earned his first save by pitching the final 2 innings.
Cedar Rapids put the tying run on third in each of the last two innings, but Moen worked out of trouble both times.
Bryan Brickhouse started for the Cougars and lasted 5 innings. He surrendered 7 hits and fanned three. Jorge Bonifacio had an RBI single in the fifth to give the Cougars their first run.