Monarchs Offense Explodes Late To Top Sioux City

SIOUX CITY, Iowa — The second game of the Kansas City Monarchs’ season followed a much different script than the first. The result was the same: a four-run win.

The Monarchs came from behind to beat the Sioux City Explorers 9-5 Saturday night from Lewis and Clark Park, improving to 2-0 on the young season.

Kansas City erased an early 3-0 deficit, plating seven unanswered runs in the sixth and seventh innings. Channy Ortiz drove in three runs and Travis Swaggerty went 3-for-4 with an RBI for the Monarchs.

“Their starting pitcher got us off balance. We had a game plan, just talking to the guys, seeing what he was throwing, we made adjustments,” Ortiz said. “I think those mid-game adjustments are what turned around that game for us.”

The reigning American Association champions will go for a sweep Sunday at 4:05 p.m., with Kansas City, Missouri native Dalton Moats on the mound for the Monarchs.

Sioux City plated a run in each of the second, third and fourth innings against Monarchs starter Yefry Ramirez, including a Jake Ortega home run in the third.

The Explorers threatened again in the fifth, putting two on with one out, prompting Monarchs manager Joe Calfapietra to go to the bullpen. JC Keys (1-0) induced a double-play ground ball to end the inning.

“I think that turned the momentum on the right side, to get the bats going, and figure things out the third time around,” Ortiz said.

Ramirez tossed 4.1 innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits, walking two and striking out two.

The Monarchs turned the tables in the sixth inning. After Travis Swaggerty hit a one-out double to put men on second and third, Blake Rutherford cut the X’s lead to one with a two-run double. Cameron Cannon drew a walk, chasing Sioux Sity starter Antonio Valez from the game.

Tucker Bradley drew a walk to load the bases, and Frankie Tostado hit a ground ball to first, leading to a force at home. That brought up Ortiz with two out. The Monarchs second baseman put his team ahead with a two-run single.

“I was just looking for something out over the plate, just trying to shoot something to the right side,” Ortiz said.

Kansas City added three in the seventh, including RBI singles from Tucker Bradley and Frankie Tostado. The Exlporers responded with two in the bottom of the frame, making it a 7-5 ballgame.

That was as close as they would get. Swaggerty hit an RBI single to make it 8-5 in the eighth, and another RBI knock from Ortiz gave Kansas City a 9-5 lead.

Zach Leban got a six-out save for the Monarchs, striking out the side in order in the eighth and tossing a one-hit ninth to close the door.

UP NEXT

The Monarchs go for a season-opening sweep Sunday at 4:05 p.m. Moats will start for Kansas City against Sioux City’s John Sheaks. Fans can hear the game on ESPN Kansas City 1510 AM / 94.5 FM and watch live for free at AABaseball.tv.