The Kansas City Monarchs (20-8) had their six-game winning streak snapped on Tuesday night. The Sioux City Explorers (12-15) had the Monarchs offense lost for most of the night, defeating Kansas City 6-4, in game one of the three game series.
The Monarchs offense started slow in Sioux City as the Explorers discovered the scoreboard first and never looked back. In the first inning, the Monarchs did not make much noise in the top half but the Explorers struck first with a sacrifice fly to center field by Trey Martin. Martin’s RBI was made possible by a walk drawn by Chase Harris and a well executed hit and run from Nick Franklin. With runners on first and third, Trey Martin drove the ball to center field in the air to bring home Harris. The Explorers led the Monarchs 1-0 after one inning played.
The Monarchs quickly answered in the second following a one-out, triple from Jan Hernandez. Casey Gillaspie picked up an RBI single to right field and tied the game, 1-1. The Monarchs were not able to steal the lead back and went quietly the rest of the frame. In the home half of the second, the Explorers distanced themselves once more from the Monarchs with back-to-back singles, followed by a three run blast, by John Anthon. Lewis Thorpe was able to settle in on the mound and retire the next three batters he faced.
Kansas City was retired in one, two, three fashion by Kevin McCanna in the top of the third inning. McCanna went on to strike out seven in six innings of work, surrendering only five hits and two runs. The Explorers again added to their lead in the bottom of the third. After a single from Nate Samson, Sioux City utilized an error from Jan Hernandez and another single to set up runners at first and third base with no outs. Ademar Rifaela grounded into a fielder’s choice RBI double play to pick up an RBI. The explorers finished the third inning leading 5-1.
In the fourth inning, both offenses went scoreless with only one hit combined between the two teams during the frame. Sioux City continued to add to their lead and shut down Kansas City’s offense in the fifth. The Monarchs were retired in a one, two, three order with a strike out by McCanna in the inning. The Explorers pushed their lead to 6-1 by starting the inning with a Trey Martin single. Martin advanced to second on an unassisted putout by Casey Gillaspie. Gabe Snyder capitalized with a runner in scoring position with an RBI double.
The Monarchs began their comeback efforts in the sixth frame. Darnell Sweeney began the inning with a patient walk and reached third on a single from Gaby Guerrero. With runners at first and third with no outs the Monarchs were only able to bring home one run with a single from Jan Hernandez. The Monarchs trailed by only four runs after six innings as Jacob Lindgren entered from the bullpen to retire the side in the home half.
In the seventh, the Monarchs mustered up two more runs in their pursuit of the Explorers. Sioux City called upon their bullpen and brought in Max Kuhns to face the bottom of the Monarchs’ lineup. Kansas City took advantage of the fresh arm on the mound with a Pete Kozma single to right field to set up J.C. Escarra at the plate. Escarra stepped up with a towering blast to right field to cut the deficit to 6-4. With the bases cleared, Kuhns settled down and retired the rest of the batters he faced. Lindgren controlled the bottom of the seventh with a scoreless inning, only allowing one hit, and producing another strikeout.
The eighth inning was filled with pitching changes. Sioux City brought in Tyler Koch to face Matt Adams. After Adams walked on five pitches, Koch was replaced by Brandon Brosher. Brosher threw the Monarchs off the scent of the comeback trail, snuffing out their building momentum, by retiring all three batters he faced. The Monarchs brought in the reliable Jameson McGrane in the bottom of the eighth to hold the Explorers scoreless.
In the top of the ninth, Thomas Mcllraith replaced Brosher on the mound for the Explorers to shut down any final hope Kansas City had in extending their winning streak to seven games.
The Monarchs will play game two of a three game series in Sioux City tomorrow (6/15) at 7:05 p.m. The game can be heard on the Monarchs Broadcast Network with the pre-game beginning at 6:35 p.m. and the video stream airing on aabaseball.tv.
Tickets to all Monarchs games can be purchased by calling 913-328-5618 or by visiting monarchsbaseball.com. For additional information or interview requests, members of the media may contact the Monarchs Media Relations Department at (817) 739-3693. Stay tuned to monarchsbaseball.com. and the Monarchs Facebook and Twitter pages for updates throughout the season.
WP: Kevin McCanna (6-1)
LP: Lewis Thorpe (3-2)
S: Thomas Mcllraith (9)