Fort Wayne Wizards at Cedar Rapids Kernels

May 4th, 2004

Peeter Ramos 2B 4 1 1 0
Drew Macias CF 4 1 1 2
Jordan Pickens LF 4 0 1 0
Mark McRoberts DH 3 0 1 0
Fernando Valenzuela 1B 2 1 1 0
Greg Bochy 3B 4 0 0 0
Ryan Johnson RF 4 0 0 0
Colt Morton C 4 0 1 1
Juan Ciriaco SS 3 0 0 0
Quan Cosby CF 4 0 0 2
Howie Kendrick 2B 4 0 2 2
Brandon Wood SS 4 0 1 0
Matt Pali LF 4 1 1 0
Brandon Balkcom RF 4 1 2 0
Bobby Wilson DH 3 0 0 0
Matt Abram 1B 2 1 0 0
Tommy Duenas C 3 1 1 1
Sean Rodriguez 3B 3 2 1 1

Fort Wayne 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 3 6 1
Cedar Rapids 0 0 1 0 0 0 5 0 X 6 8 1

E-Bochy, Balkcom, LOB FW-5, CR-3, 2B-Ramos, Pickens, Balkcom, 3B-Morton, Wood, Rodriguez, HR-Macias (Buckley/8th/2 run), SACB-Wilson, CS-Kendrick

Name IP H R ER BB SO Decison
Chris Tierney 6 4 1 1 0 5 ND
Grant Gregg 1 4 5 2 1 1 L (0-2)
Chuck Bechtel 1 0 0 0 0 2 ND

Name IP H R ER BB SO Decison
Michel Simard 7 3 1 1 1 10 W (3-1)
Allen Buckley 1 2 2 2 0 2 ND
Bob Zimmermann 1 1 0 0 1 3 SV (5)

HBP-Valenzuela (Simard), PB-Duenas, BB-Abram
Tim Daub, Darren Dudahn
T-2:09, A-1,467

How They Scored

Top 2nd
Fernando Valenzuela Jr. was hit by a pitch leading off, went to second on passed ball and scored on Colt Morton's two out triple to center.

Bottom 3rd
Sean Rodriguez tripled to left center with one out and scored on Quan Cosby's ensuing groundout to first.

Bottom 7
Matt Pali and Brandon Balkcom singled to left leading off, and Bobby Wilson sacrificed each runner ahead a base. A walk to Matt Abram to load the bases, then Tommy Duenas reached on a run scoring infield hit off the pitcher. Balkcom scored on Sean Rodriguez' grounder to third that was booted for an error. A Cosby groudout to third scored Abram and Howie Kendrick scored Duenas and Rodriguez with a single to center.

Top 8th
Peeter Ramos doubled to left center with two outs. Drew Macias then hit a two run homer to right.

Cedar Rapids Gazette
by Jeff Johnson @jeje66

This is the way things have been going at the plate lately for Tommy Duenas. With a chance to send home a run from third base with less than two outs Monday night, the Cedar Rapids Kernels catcher hit a vicious line drive down the third base line. Of course the ball went foul and nearly decapitated teammate Matt Brown, who had to hit the deck in no time to flat out avoid getting nailed. Duenas struck out, then struck out again in the bottom of the ninth with tying runs in scoring position. What's that saying: if you had no bad luck, you'd have no luck at all?

Well, Duenas finally caught a break last night in another situation. He hit a hard grounder up the middle with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the seventh of a 1-1 game with the Fort Wayne Wizards.

But instead of relief pitcher Grant Gregg fielding the ball and starting an inning killing double play, the ball deflected off his glove for an RBI infield hit. That began a five run rally that propelled the Kernels to a 6-3 victory at Memorial Stadium.

"I thought he was going to roll it up, but it went off his glove and I caught my first break of the year," said Duenas. "Hopefully, that's a turn around, We'll see." You'll have to excuse Duenas for being a little cynical. He entered the game hitting a puny .087 with four hits in 46 at bats.

Anytime he did make solid contact, it was usually at a fielder. That's how it is when you're in a slump. But Kernels Manager Bobby Magallanes keeps sending Duenas to the plate in big situations. There's no pinch hitting going on. "Personally, I don't believe in pitch hitting," Magallanes said, "I like to send guys up there, try to give them confidence."

Duenas rewarded his manager last night. "If you're struggling, that's the kind of hit that can get you on a good stretch." said Kernels starting pitcher Michel Simard. "He's trying to help the team out as much as he can, even though he's been struggling. He had an awesome hit tonight. We got the lead because of that, so who cares about his batting average."

The seventh inning outburstmade a deserved winner of Simard (3-1), who allowed three hits and struck out 10 in seven fine innings. Simard mystified Fort Wayne's hitters with a sharp breaking ball in virtually any count. "My breaking ball was bad int he bullpen," Simard said. "But when I got on the mound, I threw a couple and it was like 'Well, this thing's working pretty good.' So I just kept throwing it."

Fort Wayne (12-13) scored it's run against Simard in the second on Colt Morton's two out RBI triple. Cedar Rapids tied it in the third on Sean Rodriguez' triple and Quan Cosby's run scoring groungout. Rodriguez, Duenas and Cosby had RBI in the seventh. Howie Kendrick's two out, two run single borke the game open.

Bob Zimmermann pitched a scoreless ninth for his fifth save for the Kernels (15-10), who remained in a first place with Kane County and Clinton in the Midwest League's Westers Divison.

Zimmermann, Simard and Allen Buckley combined for 15 strikeouts.

Fort Wayne and the Kernels play game three of a four game series tonight at 6:30 before closing the series with a noon game on Thursday.