CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa. (KCRG) - Courtesy of the Cedar Rapids Kernels
Wander Javier collected a career-high two home runs and six runs batted in Monday afternoon to power the Cedar Rapids Kernels to a 14-7 triumph over the Lansing Lugnuts in front of 2,518 fans at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium. Cedar Rapids (14-10, 53-41) picked up a 2-1 series win for its seventh consecutive series victory against Lansing (13-11, 45-48).
Solo shots helped Cedar Rapids build a quick 3-0 edge. Spencer Steer led off the first inning with a home run to left field. Alex Isola deposited a leadoff round-tripper to the Plumbers & Pipefitters Pavilion in the second, and Steer provided an RBI single later in the frame.
Lansing rallied for a brief 4-3 lead during the top of the fourth. Johnny Aiello secured a 16-game on-base streak by hitting a game-tying, three-run clout. Hagen Danner reached on a two-base error and scored on D.J. Neal’s one-out single.
The Kernels answered with eight runs in their half of the inning and took an 11-4 advantage. A bases-loaded double from Gilberto Celestino put Cedar Rapids ahead for good. Back-to-back walks loaded the bases for Javier, and he hit a grand slam over the 407-foot mark in left-center field. Tyler Webb’s solo home to left field capped the scoring within the fourth.
The Lugnuts played long ball during the fifth and eighth innings and sliced their deficit to 11-7. Griffin Conine cleared the batter’s eye on a two-run, fifth-inning jack. Otto Lopez snuck a solo drive inside the left-field foul pole to open the eighth.
Javier pushed Cedar Rapids to its winning margin of 14-7 in the bottom of the eighth inning. Following Gabe Snyder’s leadoff bomb to center field and a single from Jared Akins, Javier lifted a no-doubter to 8th Avenue beyond left field. He also posted the first four-hit game for the Kernels this season. Prior to Monday’s rubber game, he was hitless in five consecutive appearances.
Nate Hadley (1-0) was credited as the winning pitcher while Troy Miller (3-4) was saddled with the loss. Hadley gave up two hits but did not allow any runs in relief. Miller yielded six runs over three-plus innings pitched.