J.D. Davis hit a go-ahead three-run home run off losing relief pitcher Hudson Boyd (4-4) to cap a four-run eighth inning for QC. The Kernels got one of those runs back in the ninth but it wasn’t enough.
Cedar Rapids had taken a 5-4 lead in the top half of the inning on an RBI single from Logan Wade. Chad Christensen’s three-run double gave it a 3-0 lead in the third.
The Kernels (39-22, 70-62) clinched because of a loss Sunday by Peoria. They are closing in on the top second-half seed in the Midwest League’s Western Division, with a likely first-round, best-of-3 matchup with Burlington.
The first game of that series would be Wednesday, Sept. 3, at Cedar Rapids, with Games 2 and 3 (if necessary at Burlington. Cedar Rapids and Quad Cities play again Monday night at Davenport.
“The boys just don’t stop. They don’t stop believing,” Kernels Manager Jake Mauer said. “Nobody in (the clubhouse) put their heads down when things weren’t going well in April and May. They came out and battled. Our pitching has been outstanding, we’ve found a way to score some runs.”
The Kernels and parent Minnesota Twins have announced starting pitcher Kohl Stewart has been placed on the seven-day disabled list with a shoulder injury. Lefty pitcher Josue Montanez has been activated from the DL.