The Cedar Rapids Kernels beat the Kane County Cougars 5-1 Monday to win the second-half Western Division title. This is the sixth consecutive season the Kernels have reached the playoffs — all six years the team has been affiliated with the Minnesota Twins.
The offensive star for the Kernels on Monday was Michael Davis, who hit a solo homer and a two-run single. Victor Tademo also homered for Cedar Rapids.
With only one week left in the regular season, the Kernels are the only team assured of a second-half playoff berth. Three teams are in close contention for the second-half Western Division wild-card spot, with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers currently holding a half-game lead over the Cougars and the Beloit Snappers. The Quad Cities River Bandits and the Peoria Chiefs won Western Division playoff berths in the first half.
In the Eastern Division, the Great Lakes Loons have a 3.5-game lead for the second-half division title. Next in line is the current wild-card leader Fort Wayne TinCaps, who are a game ahead of the West Michigan Whitecaps and 2.5 games ahead of the South Bend Cubs. The Bowling Green Hot Rods and the Lansing Lugnuts won Eastern Division playoff berths in the first half.
The last day of the regular season is Monday, Sept. 3.
Arias cycles for TinCaps
Gabriel Arias came up big for the TinCaps as Fort Wayne beat South Bend 15-5 Monday.
Arias hit for the cycle as he went 5-for-6 with 5 RBI. Overall this season, he is batting .242 with six homers, three triples, 26 doubles, and 53 RBI in 118 games with the TinCaps.
Davis goes distance for T-Rats
In a rehab start Monday, Milwaukee Brewers right-hander Zach Davies pitched a nine-inning shutout for the Timber Rattlers, needing only 85 pitches (66 strikes) to go the distance in Wisconsin’s 5-0 win over the Clinton LumberKings.
Davis scattered seven hits while striking out six and walking none. It was his fourth rehab start for the Timber Rattlers this season.
The Timber Rattlers will get another Brewers player later this week, when outfielder Keon Broxton is scheduled to suit up for them in their Wednesday-Friday home series versus the Beloit Snappers.