The Cedar Rapids Kernels clinched a Western Division playoff berth Tuesday while the two Eastern Division playoff spots remain up for grabs with five days left in the first half of the season.
The Kernels have reached the postseason in all three seasons under manager Jake Mauer, who earned his 200th win as Cedar Rapids skipper Tuesday. They beat the Burlington Bees 2-1 after rallying for a pair of runs in the bottom of the 8th inning.
Cedar Rapids joins the Quad Cities River Bandits as first-half representatives in the playoffs. The River Bandits have a three-game lead over the Kernels in the Western Division.
Both playoff spots remain unclaimed in the Eastern Division, where the Lansing Lugnuts have a one-game lead over the Bowling Green Hot Rods and the surging Great Lakes Loons. The Lake County Captains and the Dayton Dragons are three games behind the Lugnuts and two games behind the Hot Rods and the Loons.
The Loons have won nine of their last 10 games and 16 of their last 18 games. They have two more home games against the Captains before finishing the first half with a three-game set at Lansing.
Before facing the Loons, the Lugnuts have two more games at home against the Hot Rods. Bowling Green will end the first half with a three-game series at Fort Wayne while the Captains and the Dragons play each other in Dayton.