Gavin’s Gem, Offensive Explosion Power Monarchs To Rout

GARY Ind. — Grant Gavin threw six scoreless innings, Trent Giambrone and Travis Swaggerty homered, and the Kansas City Monarchs powered their way to a 10-4 victory over the Gary SouthShore RailCats from the Steel Yard Friday night.

Gavin allowed just three hits and one walk in his third start of the season. He struck out six, bringing his season strikeout-to-walk ratio to 36/2.

“It’s a mentality,” Gavin said. “Being a starter, I’ve really emphasized I’ve got to be efficient and work ahead, and really attack hitters early in the count, and I think that’s set me up to have success.”

The Monarchs offense jumped in front from the beginning, plating six first-inning runs. Giambrone hit his second home run in three games to make it 2-0. Josh Bissonette and Hayden Jones both knocked two-run doubles later in the frame.

Giambrone is now 6-for-13 as a Monarch with two home runs and two doubles.

“We knew the bats were waiting to wake up, and they came out ready to go,” Gavin said. “We felt like as a group today we were ready to play, and that was good to see.”

The win moves the Monarchs (12-8) into a tie for first place in the West Division. They have Saturday off before a rubber match with the RailCats Sunday afternoon at 2:05 p.m. on ESPN Kansas City 1510 AM and 94.5 FM.

“I think we’re a really well-rounded team,” Gavin said. “I think we can really beat teams in a lot of ways depending on how the game shapes up, and that’s exciting.”

Former Monarchs Carlos Sanabria took the loss for the RailCats (6-15). He allowed seven runs (four earned) on eight hits over 3.1 innings of work, walking four and striking out three.

Cameron Cannon drove in the Monarchs’ eighth run with a sacrifice fly in the sixth, scoring Ross Adolph. Adolph reached base four times out of the leadoff spot for Kansas City.

The Monarchs added two more runs in the seventh on a pair of bases-loaded walks.

Gary SouthShore tagged Kansas City reliever Jonathan Sprinkle for four runs in the seventh, but J.C. Keys got the last out of the inning. He’d throw the eighth before Jackson McClelland worked a 1-2-3 ninth to end the game.

UP NEXT

The Monarchs and RailCats have Saturday off before a rubber game on Sunday at 2:05 p.m. Connor Curlis will start for Kansas City against Gary SouthShore’s Peyton Long. Fans can hear the game on ESPN Kansas City 1510 AM and 94.5 FM, and online at 810WHB.com/Monarchs.

Iser Stays Hot, Monarchs Drop Opener In Gary

GARY, Ind. — Herbert Iser delivered his fourth RBI in three games, but that was the lone bright spot for the Kansas City Monarchs in a 7-1 loss to the Gary SouthShore RailCats Thursday from the Steel Yard.

Gary SouthShore (6-14) jumped out to a 6-0 lead after two innings off Monarchs starter Will McAffer. RailCats starter Andres Diaz threw seven one-hit innings to earn the win.

Iser’s RBI came in the eighth inning off an RBI single. He homered two games ago against Lake Country.

The Monarchs (11-8) have lost three out of four for the second time this season. They’ll look to level the series Friday night at 6:45 p.m.

Gary SouthShore scored four runs in the first inning off McAffer, pitching on his 27th birthday. They sent nine runners to the plate in the frame.

Former Monarch Olivier Basabe drove in the first run with a single, part of a 2-for-4 day for the third baseman. LG Castillo contributed a sacrifice fly before an RBI single from Jackson Valera and a run-scoring double from Gio Diaz made it 4-0.

The RailCats scored two unearned runs in the second, including an RBI double from Carlos Rincon.

McAffer settled in after that, retiring 10 of the last 11 hitters he faced. He threw five innings, allowing six runs (four earned) on eight hits while walking one and striking out three.

Trent Giambrone led off the eighth with a double to set the stage for Iser’s single. The RailCats got the run back in the bottom of the inning when Brandon Fields hit an RBI triple to center off Kansas City reliever Kevin Milam. That brought the game to its final score.

UP NEXT

Grant Gavin will start Friday’s game for Kansas City against former teammate Carlos Sanabria. First pitch of the game is at 6:45 p.m. Monarchs fans can listen to the audio broadcast at 810WHB.com/Monarchs.

Cannon Homers Twice, Monarchs Split Doubleheader

OCONOMOWOC, Wisc. — Cameron Cannon continued his hot hitting, homering in each of the two games, as the Kansas City Monarchs split a doubleheader with the Lake Country DockHounds Wednesday from Wisconsin Brewing Company Park.

Kansas City (11-7) won the first game 12-0, scoring seven runs in the seventh and final inning to pull away. The DockHounds (8-11) came from behind to win the nightcap 6-4.

Cannon hit a solo home run in Game 1 and blasted a two-run home run in Game 2. The third baseman is 7-for-15 with three home runs and six RBIs over his last four games.

Former major leaguer Trent Giambrone made his Monarchs debut in the twin bill, homering in the second game.

Kansas City jumped out to an early lead in the opener, scoring four in the second inning on Cannon’s home run and a three-run blast from Herbert Iser. Their seven-run seventh was the club’s highest-scoring inning of the season so far.

Monarchs starter Yefry Ramirez earned the win after throwing four scoreless innings.

The Monarchs took a 4-0 lead in the first inning of game two on two-run homers from Cannon and Giambrone, but did not manage a hit for the rest of the game.

Lake Country first baseman Ryan Hernandez homered to put the DockHounds on the board in the second. Justin Lavey followed him up with an RBI double later in the frame. Hernandez drove in the team’s second run with a single in the third.

The DockHounds tied the game in the fourth on a passed ball, and took the lead with two runs in the fifth, including an RBI single by Josh Altmann.

UP NEXT

The Monarchs head to Gary for a three-game series with the RailCats. First pitch from the Steel Yard is set for 6:45 p.m. Thursday night. Fans can hear the game on 94.5 FM and watch for free on AABaseball.tv.

Monarchs’ Game in Lake Country Rained Out

OCONOMOWOC, Wisc. — The Kansas City Monarchs’ game with the Lake Country DockHounds scheduled for Tuesday night has been rained out.

The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader Wednesday. First pitch of the first game is scheduled for 5:05 p.m. In accordance with American Association rules, the twin bill will consist of two seven-inning games.

Fans can watch both games for free at AABaseball.tv and hear the radio broadcast at 810WHB.com/Monarchs.

For more information, visit MonarchsBaseball.com.

Monarchs Trade For Big-League Infielder

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Another major leaguer has joined the Kansas City Monarchs, this time through an in-season trade.

The Monarchs have traded for former Chicago Cubs infielder Trent Giambrone, the team announced Tuesday. Giambrone is expected to be in uniform for Tuesday’s road game with the Lake Country DockHounds.

The Monarchs acquired Giambrone from the Cleburne Railroaders, where he’s hit two home runs and driven in four in 14 games to start the 2024 season.

Giambrone, 30, made his MLB debut in September 2021, collecting his first big-league hit on the first pitch of his first at-bat.

In return, the Monarchs sent lefty pitcher Jacob Cantleberry to the Railroaders.

A Louisiana native, Giambrone played his final two years of college at Division II Delta State University. He won the ABCA/Rawlings Defensive Player of the Year his senior year in 2016.

The Cubs drafted Giambrone in the 25th round in 2016, and he’d steadily move up their Minor League system. He earned MiLB.com Organization All-Star honors in 2018 while with Double-A Tennesse and played in the Arizona Fall League later that year.

Giambrone cracked Triple-A for the first time in 2019 before his big-league debut in 2021. He played five games, starting three, for Chicago at the tail end of the 2021 season, recording two hits and four strikeouts.

After returning to Triple-A for the 2022 season, Giambrone spent 2023 in the Atlantic League with the York Revolution. He hit 22 home runs in 107 games, earning a spot in the league All-Star Game.

The Monarchs are 10-6 on the season. Their next home game is Friday, June 7 from Legends Field in Kansas City, Kansas.

Curlis Shines, But Monarchs Fall To Lake Country

OCONOMOWOC, Wisc. — Kansas City Monarchs starter Connor Curlis had his second straight solid outing, but the Monarchs offense didn’t generate any support in a 3-0 loss to the Lake Country DockHounds Monday.

Curlis threw six innings of two-run ball for the Monarchs (10-6). He allowed just four hits without walking a batter and struck out five.

The Monarchs will look to rebound Tuesday night at 6:35 p.m.

Lake Country (7-10) put up two runs in the third inning on a Blake Tiberi sacrifice fly and an RBI single from Josh Altmann. It was Altmann’s 17th RBI of the season.

The Monarchs’ offense was quiet against DockHounds starter Sterling Sharp. The former Miami Marlin held the Monarchs to one hit over six shutout innings, walking four and striking out three.

The Monarchs’ best chance to put up runs came in the seventh. Cameron Cannon and Tucker Bradley led off the inning with singles off reliever Eric Hanhold. But Kansas City went down in order after that.

Jonathan Sprinkle threw the seventh and eighth innings for the Monarchs. He allowed an RBI triple to Lake Country center fielder Justin Connell that brought the game to its final score.

UP NEXT

Game two of the series is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. Yefry Ramirez will start for Kansas City against Lake Country’s Brady Puckett. Fans can watch the game for free at AABaseball.tv and listen live at 810WHB.com/Monarchs.

Monarchs Walk It Off To Beat Lincoln

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Big-time players make big-time plays at big-time moments.

Frankie Tostado has come up clutch for the Kansas City Monarchs all month and clinched a third successive home series victory in his biggest at-bat as a Monarch. 

Tostado’s walk-off single to left field clinched the series on a Sunday afternoon as the Monarchs prevailed over the Lincoln Saltdogs, 5-4 in 10 innings, at Legends Field. Tostado drove in two crucial runs for KC.

The Monarchs erased a three-run lead for the fourth time in 10 wins this season. 

“I was trying to see something up,” Tostado said. “I knew I was going to get one pitch away.”

The Saltdogs (6-10) started strong, plating three runs in the first inning. Max Hewitt drove in one on a sacrifice fly, followed up by a two-run home run by Aaron Takacs.

Lincoln would make it 4-0 one inning later, but Kansas City was never mentally out of it.

“They got those four early, we weren’t beat or down, or anything like that,” Tostado said. “We just knew the boys had to get their pitches.

Ross Adolph would get his pitch one inning later. The former Houston Astros prospect spanked a 380-foot home run to right field to bring the Monarchs within three runs.

Adolph finished 2-for-5 in the win. His home run moved him to the top of the Monarchs’ (10-5)  lead in round-trippers.

The Monarchs weren’t done launching baseballs and added one more three innings later. Cameron Cannon lifted a solo shot onto the Home Run Patio to cut the lead to two. The home run was Cannon’s second homer of the campaign, both coming at Legends Field.

Monarchs’ starter Grant Gavin settled after the early runs. The right-hander struck out nine in five complete innings, up to 30 punchouts on the season.

Strikeouts kept Kansas City in the game. Gavin, Jacob Cantleberry, and Kevin Milam combined for 11 strikeouts in the first seven innings.

KC brought the game level in the bottom of the eighth, neither team could earn a base-runner in the ninth.

Jackson McClelland (1-1) rolled through the Saltdogs with three strikeouts in the top of the 10th. Tostado and company did the rest, loading the bases with no outs before the game-winning single.

The Sunday crowd erupted on the walk-off, giving the Monarchs their seventh home win of the season.
“Keep showing out,” Tostado told the fans. “It’s fun to play in front of you guys.”

The Monarchs begin a nine-game road trip tomorrow night against the Lake Country Dockhounds. All 100 Monarchs games are broadcasted for free on aabaseball.tv and for radio on 810whb.com.

Photo: Kristina Bonner

Monarchs Scratch Out Win On Star Wars Night

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Never tell them the odds.

In front of one of its largest crowds of the season on Star Wars Night, the Kansas City Monarchs produced a win from a Galaxy Far, Far Away. They needed just one hit to do it. 

Kansas City struck back against the Lincoln Saltdogs, scoring four unanswered for a 4-3 victory at Legends Field. The runs scored on a throwing error, hit by pitch, and a fielder’s choice.

Kansas City (9-5) was held to its fewest hits all season, yet erased a three-run deficit for the third time this season. The Monarchs found a new hope from their bullpen before winning it with the bats, recording four scoreless innings from Jonathan Sprinkle, Hunter McMahon, J.C. Keys, and Zack Leban.

“[We’re] just having a dog mentality,” Keys said. “Going out there, filling up the zone, [and] giving our team the best chance to win.”

The first order of business was keeping an early deficit at three.

Lincoln (6-9) got started early, but Will McAffer attacked the Saltdogs after the second inning. 

McAffer hurled three consecutive scoreless frames to close out his outing, fanning three batters.

McAffer closed his outing with a season-high five innings and six punchouts.

Keys earned his American Association-leading fourth win of the season with his scoreless eighth.

“Just hang a zero,” Keys said. “Give my team the ability to be able to win a ball game, and that’s how it went tonight.”

The Monarchs didn’t muster anything off Parisi until the fifth. Frankie Tostado lifted a double to left field, putting two in scoring position. Bryan Aguilar brought in Tucker Bradley and Tostado on a throwing error by Saltdogs third baseman Jack Dragum. 

Three walks set up Travis Swaggerty, who tied the game on a hit-by-pitch against Saltdogs reliever

The RBI force is strong with Blake Rutherford this season. The former major leaguer recorded his 19th of the season on a fielder’s choice to give the Monarchs the lead.

“This team, we’re fighters,” Keys said. “We’re going to fight, scratch, and claw until the end.”

Leban didn’t give in to the hate, staying composed to earn his third save of the season with a hitless ninth inning.

The Monarchs close a 10-game homestand against the Saltdogs for Family & Faith Day at 1:05 pm. Kids can run the bases following the final out, tickets are available at monarchsbaseball.com

Rutherford Shines, But Monarchs Fall Late

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – A back-and-forth game the whole way went Lincoln’s way.

The Kansas City Monarchs dropped the opening game of their three-game set, losing 8-7 in 10 innings, to the Lincoln Saltdogs at Legends Field. Kansas City had Lincoln down to its final strike in the ninth inning but allowed a game-tying run to score on a wild pitch.

Alex Baeza drilled a game-winning single to right field in the 10th.

Despite a seven-run outing for the Monarchs, highlighted by a prolific Blake Rutherford, Kansas City left the tying run at third in the bottom of the 10th.

Rutherford didn’t waste any time in his return to the lineup. The Monarchs’ (8-5) DH ripped a run-scoring single on the first pitch he saw in the bottom of the first.

The former major leaguer finished 3-for-5 with 3 RBI. Rutherford is up to a team-best 18 RBI this campaign.

One inning later, Rutherford torched a two-run double past Saltdogs right fielder Gary Mattis to make it 5-1 KC.

Kansas City started strong against Lincoln (6-8) starter Karan Patel. Travis Swaggerty stretched his on-base streak to 13 games with an RBI triple in the first, while Bryan Aguilar earned his third RBI in four games with a bases-loaded walk.

Lincoln showed its bark following the early struggles. The Saltdogs rallied with two runs in the third and three more in the fifth. Nick Anderson launched a go-ahead two-run home run off Monarchs starter Jackson Goddard, giving the Saltdogs a 6-5 lead.

One of the most consistent Monarchs this season came through right after. Frankie Tostado lifted an RBI single to left-center field to plate Tucker Bradley, tying the game in the bottom of the fifth.

The first baseman made another ridiculous play to score. Ross Adolph punched an RBI single to left field, and Tostado swam away from catcher Max Hewitt’s tag to score from second base.

Kansas City’s bullpen held firm with four and two-thirds of scoreless baseball. Julian Garcia struck out three, Hunter McMahon and Zack Leban hurled scoreless innings afterward.

Lincoln’s bullpen dominated, combining for 5.2 scoreless innings. Brandon McCabe (1-1) and Dan Kubiuk each set Kansas City down in order in the final two frames.

The Monarchs continue its series with the Saltdogs tomorrow at 6:35 pm. Saturday is Star Wars Night at Legends Field, tickets are available at monarchsbaseball.com.

Monarchs Add Former Yankees Prospect Milam

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – The Kansas City Monarchs added to their pitching staff on Friday afternoon, announcing the arrival of right-handed pitcher Kevin Milam.

Milam joins Kansas City from Olmecas de Tabasco in the Mexican League. The 26-year-old made seven appearances to begin 2024, striking out 10.

“Kevin’s a strike thrower who can fill multiple roles for us,” Monarchs manager Joe Calfapietra said. “He’s got experience against high-level competition. We’re excited to welcome him to Kansas City.”

The Monarchs are home this weekend with games Friday and Saturday night as well as Sunday afternoon. Fans can buy tickets at MonarchsBaseball.com.

Milam is a former Yankees draft pick who has made it as high as High-A in his affiliated career. Milam spent the latter half of 2023 with Acereros de Monclava, making 11 appearances in Mexico.

The righty was an important piece to Monclava’s late-season playoff push, recording a 3.21 ERA across 14 innings. Milam helped Acereros to a 46-43 finish under manager Edwin Rodriguez.

The Fremont, Calif., native was a highly-sought high school product, winning the Bay Valley Athletic League title as a junior at Heritage High School. Milam was also named the 2015 BVAL MVP.

Milam went on to record one of the best freshman seasons in St. Mary’s College history, named to seven All-American awards, including winning West Coast Conference Freshman of the Year.

The right-hander earned nine saves and held a 2.27 ERA in his first season with the Gaels. Milam also hit for SMC, recording a team-best 12 HR and slugging .547.

Milam made 53 career pitching appearances for St. Mary’s, holding a career 3.99 ERA.

He was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 2019 MLB Draft, spending four seasons within the organization. Millam reached as far as High-A Hudson Valley in 2022.

Milam enters a Monarchs pitching corps that has been phenomenal under first-year pitching coach Justin Shafer, commanding an American Association-best 3.40 team ERA entering Friday.