CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Christian Ibarra had a home run and four RBIs to lead the Cedar Rapids Kernels to a 9-3 victory in Game 1 of the Western Division Championship Series on Saturday.
Ibarra connected for a three-run home run in the fifth inning to give the Kernels a commanding 8-1 lead. The series shifts to Clinton, where the LumberKings will face elimination at 6:30 p.m. today in Game 2 of the three-game series.
Clinton starter Pablo Lopez was roughed up for 10 hits and five runs, three earned, in 3.1 innings to take the loss. The Kernels, who are seeking a second straight Western Division title, had 15 hits for the game, led by a 3-for-4 effort from Travis Blankenhorn. Six players had multi-hit games.
Clinton jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning on back-to-back RBI singles by Alex Jackson and Arturo Nieto. Clinton had 11 hits, with two each from Nieto, Chris Mariscal, Logan Taylor, Ricky Eusebio and Rayder Ascanio.
In Game 2, Sam Gibbons will start for the Kernels against Kevin Gadea of Clinton.
Astros honors for McCall, Perez: The Houston Astros named the Quad-Cities River Bandits' Dexture McCall and Franklin Perez as the organization's low-A players of the month for August.
McCall hit .295 with 17 RBI during the month while Perez went 1-1 with a 2.65 ERA.