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posted: 6/8/2013 10:41 PM

Cougars explode for 15 runs, 18 hits

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By Daily Herald News Services

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- The Kane County Cougars pounded out 18 hits and blasted a season-high 4 home runs en route to steamrolling the Cedar Rapids Kernels 15-1 on Saturday night at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

Jeimer Candelario got the Cougars (28-31) rolling in the top of the second with a solo homer.

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In the third, Gioskar Amaya belted a leadoff homer to make it 2-0. A single and 2 walks filled the bases for Willson Contreras, and he doubled to bring home Albert Almora and Candelario and stake the Cougars to a 4-0 lead. Oliver Zapata delivered another 2-run double and scored on Marco Hernandez's hit to cap a 6-run burst.

Dan Vogelbach hit a solo homer in the fourth. In the fifth inning, Hernandez doubled home Zapata before Almora blasted a 3-run shot -- his first homer since joining the Cougars.

Cougars starter Michael Heesch (3-4) held the Kernels (37-23) to 1 run on 8 hits in 613 innings. Ian Dickson and Lendy Castillo combined to pitch scoreless, hitless relief the rest of the way.

In the ninth, Almora's sacrifice fly and Rock Shoulders' 2-run double capped the Cougars' scoring.

The Cougars and Kernels play Game 2 of their three-game series today at 2:05 p.m. Cougars right-hander Dillon Maples (0-1) starts against righty Hudson Boyd (1-3).

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