The series matchups for Round 2 of the Midwest League playoffs are set after the Great Lakes Loons and the Cedar Rapids Kernels won Friday.
The Loons beat the Lake County Captains 5-0 at Great Lakes. Brandon Lewis drove in four of those runs with a pair of homers. Winning pitcher Jose Chacin scattered three hits and two walks while striking out three batters in seven innings.
The Loons will face the South Bend Cubs in the Eastern Division finals, which begin Saturday.
The Kernels beat the River Bandits 4-2 at Quad Cities. Gabe Snyder hit a solo homer and a double for the Kernels. Winning pitcher Josh Winder gave up six hits and walked none while striking out seven batters in six scoreless innings. Jose Alberto Rivera, who pitched the final five innings for the River Bandits, allowed one run on four hits and a walk, and struck out 13.
The Kernels are the first MWL team to reach the league semifinals for six consecutive years since the Waterloo Royals/Indians did so from 1975 to 1981. Cedar Rapids will face the Clinton LumberKings in the Western Division finals, which begin Saturday.
Moran Ks Moran in MLB debut
LHP Brian Moran made his major-league debut in relief for the Miami Marlins on Thursday and struck out his brother, Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Colin Moran, for his first big-league K. He faced four batters in his one inning of work, with the only blemish being a hit-by-pitch.
Both Moran brothers played in the Midwest League. Brian Moran appeared in 34 games for the 2009-10 LumberKings, cumulatively going 4-4 with a 1.83 ERA, three saves, 65 strikeouts and 13 walks in 59 innings. Colin Moran rehabbed with the River Bandits in 2017, playing in the last series of the regular season and throughout the postseason. Quad Cities won the MWL championship that year.
Mejias-Brean makes MLB debut
Former Dayton Dragons corner infielder Seth Mejias-Brean made his MLB debut for the San Diego Padres on Wednesday. He entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the 9th inning and grounded out in his only at-bat.
Mejias-Brean, an eighth-round draft pick of the Cincinnati Reds in 2012, played 127 games with the Dragons in 2013. He batted .305 with 10 homers, 35 doubles and 79 RBI.
RIP Chris Duncan
Former St. Louis Cardinals player Chris Duncan died Friday after years of battling brain cancer. He was 38.
A first-round draft pick of the Cardinals in 1999, Duncan played a total of 331 games with the Peoria Chiefs in 2000, 2001 and 2002. He cumulatively batted .274 with 37 home runs, 82 doubles and 191 RBI in the Midwest League. The Chiefs won the MWL championship in 2002; future major-leaguers Yadier Molina and Dan Haren also played for the team that year.