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.
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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.