A six-run fourth inning broke up a 2-2 tie and carried the Cedar Rapids Kernels to an 8-2 triumph over the visiting Kane County Cougars.
Max Kepler put the Kernels (86-49, 46-21) on top in the fourth by striking his ninth home run of the season against Starling Peralta (2-3). It was the third homer of the night surrendered by Peralta, who also coughed up back-to-back blasts to Niko Goodrum and Jorge Polanco in the first inning.
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Cedar Rapids continued to pour it on in the fourth after a pair of walks from Peralta. Michael Quesada cracked a triple, scoring Mike Gonzales and Bo Altobelli. Joel Licon hit the next pitch from Peralta down the left field line to bring home Quesada. Goodrum added a two-run double to put the Kernels up by 6 runs and causing Peralta to exite the game.
Josue Montanez (7-5) cruised through 7 innings for Cedar Rapids after a shaky first inning. Gioskar Amaya started the game by reaching on a double. Willson Contreras produced an infield hit to score Amaya, while Giuseppe Papaccio knocked home Jeimer Candelario with a single to center, giving the Cougars (53-79, 23-43) a brief 2-0 lead.
The Cougars managed only 5 hits after the first inning, all of them from the combination of Carlos Escobar and Reggie Golden.
Four relievers combined for 4 scoreless innings out of the Cougars' bullpen including Al Yevoli, Matt Iannazzo, Andrew McKirahan and Kenny Socorro, who pitched for just the second time in his pro career.