Jimenez Blisters in Kernels' 8-1 Win Over Burlington

By Jeff Johnson, Reporter

Eswarlin Jimenez was excellent in the Kernels' Tuesday night win over Burlington.

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By Grant Burkhardt

CEDAR RAPIDS — You could see the broken skin on Eswarlin Jimenez’s left middle finger postgame Tuesday night. Not what he or the Cedar Rapids Kernels wanted.

“It started bothering me in the fifth inning,” Jimenez said after his club’s 8-1 win over Burlington before 1,645 fans at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

Blisters are an occupational hazard for pitchers, with some guys being more susceptible to them than others. It has to do with how much pressure you put on the ball and its seams.

In the old days, guys would dip their fingers in pickle brine to treat blisters. There are all kinds of theories.

Kernels pitchers use Betadine, an antiseptic iodine solution.

“I just try and let it heal,” Jimenez said, with the help of teammate Kevin Moesquit.

It’s just recently when the Kernels’ starter has had issues. The 20-year-old from the Dominican Republic was placed on the disabled list two weeks ago after a blister formed during a start against Clinton.

He made his return Tuesday night and threw five shutout innings to improve his record to 3-4. Five innings were as long as he was going to throw anyway, with another blister cinching that decision.

R.J. Alvarez, Stephen Tromblee and Carmine Giardina closed out the Kernels’ second win in five second-half games. Burlington lost for the first time in the second half.

“Jimmy has been the most consistent starter for us,” Kernels manager Jamie Burke said. “It’s nice to have him back. Hopefully he keeps doing this.”

Burke was asked about Jimenez’s blisters.

“You’ve got to get that skin tough somehow,” he said. “I don’t know if he picks at it or what. We’ve got to figure out something.”

The Kernels (34-41) cracked, no pun intended, 12 hits, including home runs from Gary Mitchell and Chevy Clarke. Mitchell’s was a three-run opposite-field blast in the seventh inning that opened up what was a 4-0 game.

The teams conclude their three-game series Wednesday night at 6:35.

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