Small Ball Propels Kernels to 2-1 Win
By Douglas Miles, Reporter
CEDAR RAPIDS – Cedar Rapids Kernels outfielder Andy Workman hit one high, but not deep enough, and certainly not "outta here.' That's all it took. Workman's sacrifice flies helped the Kernels win on Monday.
"When I get up to bat with a guy on third and less than two outs, I always try to look for something up in the zone," said Workman after a 2-1 win over the Lake County Captains in front of 2,023 fans on a sweltering afternoon at Veterans Memorial Stadium. "It's easier to hit up in the air out in the outfield, so props to my teammates for getting to third with less than two outs. Makes it easier for me."
Workman, who leads the team with nine sacrifice flies, cashed in on two first-inning walks issued by Lake County starter Shawn Morimando to give the Kernels a 1-0 lead.
"Yeah, the guy was pitching us well," Workman said. "He had struggled getting in the strike zone a little but his pitches were pretty nasty."
Morimando (4-3) would issue five walks in all, but held the Kernels hitless until a one-out triple in the sixth inning by Alex Yarbrough. Workman followed with his second sacrifice fly of the game, a valuable insurance run. For Yarbrough, it was his sixth triple this season, good for second in the Midwest League despite playing just 33 games with the Kernels.
"We went out there and battled," said Kernels Manager Jamie Burke, whose team managed just two base hits. "I don't care how it goes as long as we win, put the 'W' in the category. It doesn't bother me."
Cedar Rapids starter Eswarlin Jimenez (4-4) returned from the disabled list (blisters on pitching hand) and made the most of his 50-pitch limit, tossing five innings of shutout ball, scattering six hits while striking out two.
"That's what he's been doing for us all year, when he's not hurt," Burke said. "He's been very consistent for us, and it pretty much looked the same as it looked before he went on the DL."
After an off-day today, the Kernels (42-58, 10-20 second half) begin a six-game road trip with three games at Peoria, followed by three at Burlington.