A 4-0 lead early in the game didn't hold for the Kane County Cougars as they fell victim to a 10-4 defeat at the hands of the Cedar Rapids Kernels on Monday night at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark.
Gioskar Amaya kicked off the bottom of the first with a single and advanced around the bases after hits from Albert Almora and Jeimer Candelario, putting the Cougars (25-30) on top. Mason Melotakis (5-2) allowed 3 more runs in the second.
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Reggie Golden started the inning by blasting a solo homer to left-center, giving the Cougars a 2-0 cushion. David Bote walked and scored on a throwing error from second baseman Joel Licon. Almora reached on a fielder's choice and scored on a Rock Shoulders single.
Dillon Maples did all he could to keep the Cougars on top. Maples tossed 5 innings without allowing a run. He only surrendered 2 hits while posting 7 strikeouts. Lendy Castillo (0-4) took over the sixth and the lead quickly evaporated.
Castillo coughed up a leadoff double to Dalton Hicks then walked four of the next five hitters. JD Williams tied the game with a 2-run single while Candido Pimentel put the Kernels (36-20) on top as he bounced a ball off the glove of Castillo, allowing Jeremidas Pineda to come home.
In the seventh, the Kernels pulled away with their first seven batters reaching, five coming home to score. Pineda drew a bases-loaded walk to bring home Tyler Grimes. Williams reached on an error from Amaya which allowed 2 runs to score. Pimentel and Adam Brett Walker also each drove in a run.
The Cougars begin a six-game road trip Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. from Community Field against the Burlington Bees. Right-hander Pierce Johnson (3-4) will start for the Cougars against fellow righty Aaron Newcomb (1-3).
The Cougars return to Fifth Third Bank Ballpark on Tuesday, June 11, when they welcome the Burlington Bees.