BURLINGTON, Iowa -- Dan Vogelbach's first-inning home run put the Kane County Cougars on top, and they never looked back en route to an 8-6 victory over the Burlington Bees on Wednesday at Community Field.
Vogelbach's blast came after Albert Almora had singled.
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The Cougars' Jeimer Candelario drove home Oliver Zapata with a hit and Reggie Golden drove home a pair of runs in the contest.
Pierce Johnson (4-4) worked 5 innings but allowed the Bees (22-31) to close within a run before he exited thanks in part to Sherman Johnson's pair of solo homers.
In the sixth for the Cougars (26-30), Carlos Escobar doubled and scored on a triple by Marco Hernandez, who came across on Zapata's double.
Anthony Bemboom cracked a 2-run homer against Eddie Orozco in the bottom of the sixth that cut the lead to 7-6, but Orozco tossed a scoreless seventh before Felix Pena returned from the disabled list to record the final six outs and his first save.
The Cougars' Rock Shoulders capped the scoring with a sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth.
The Cougars and Bees battle in Game 2 of their three-game series today at 6:30 p.m. Right-hander Jose Rosario (0-1) starts for the Cougars against lefty Ryan Crowley (4-1).