Kyle Smith rang up a career-high 12 strikeouts as the Kane County Cougars shut out the Cedar Rapids Kernels 5-0 on Tuesday night at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark in Geneva.
Smith (2-1) mowed down the Kernels (45-69, 13-13) through 7 innings, allowing 3 hits. Smith had at least 1 strikeout in every inning except the sixth, including 10 through 5 innings.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Danny Mateo singled with one out and scored on a two-out double by Michael Antonio to stake Smith to the only run he needed.
Mateo helped the Cougars (57-57, 23-21) add to the lead in the bottom of the sixth with a sacrifice fly that scored Justin Trapp, who had opened the inning with a bunt single and took second on a throwing error by pitcher Ryan Crowley (1-3). Crowley allowed 1 earned run on 5 hits in 7 innings.
The Cougars broke open the game in the bottom of the eighth. R.J. Alvarez walked Trapp and Jack Lopez to begin the inning. They both scored when Mateo lined a triple past center fielder Andy Workman. Mateo scored on Antonio's sacrifice fly.
Malcom Culver worked the last 2 innings and earned his sixth save.