CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- Cedar Rapids starter Eswarlin Jimenez shut down Kane County through 8 innings, and the host Kernels knocked off the Cougars 5-1 on Monday night at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
The Kernels (47-73, 15-35) jumped ahead in the bottom of the first against Aaron Brooks (9-12). Trevor Hairgrove and Eric Stamets collected one-out singles before Frazier Hall blasted a 3-run homer.
Jimenez (7-4) didn't allow the Cougars (60-60, 26-24) to get a runner on base until the top of the fifth when Dean Espy opened the inning with a double. But he was stranded when Henry Moreno hit into a double play.
In the sixth, the Cougars scored their only run. Kenny Swab led off with a double and advanced to third on a single by Yowill Espinal. Alex Llanos bounced into a 6-4-3 double play as Swab scored.
Brooks allowed a 2-run homer in the bottom of the sixth by Abel Baker.
Neither team managed another baserunner after that. Cougars reliever Kellen Moen replaced Brooks and retired all seven batters he faced.
Jimenez allowed 3 hits with 8 strikeouts in his 8 innings. Kernels reliever R.J. Alvarez retired the Cougars in order in the top of the ninth.
The Cougars return to Fifth Third Bank Ballpark in Geneva on Wednesday when they host the Clinton LumberKings at 6:30 p.m. Right-hander Angel Baez (6-4) will start for the Cougars against righty Jordan Pries (1-0).