FARGO, N.D. — Brian O’Grady is feeling like himself. That’s bad news for the American Association.
The former big leaguer turned Kansas City Monarchs slugger hit three home runs Saturday night, helping Kansas City to a thrilling 10-9 win over the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks at Newman Outdoor Field.
O’Grady hit solo home runs in the second and fourth innings and added a two-run blast in the fifth.
Brian O’Grady with not 1…not 2…but 3 homeruns tonight!!!
👑 Monarchs 8 | 🪶 RedHawks 1 🔝 5th pic.twitter.com/eatVKlCu2b
— Kansas City Monarchs (@kscitymonarchs) July 9, 2023
The former Red, Ray and Padre said a piece of pregame advice in the batting cage from hitting coach Bill Sobbe might have been the key to his performance.
“In the cage today, Sobbe said to me ‘think just up and down with your foot; don’t let it push forward.’ That was the thought,” O’Grady said after the game.
It all came together in O’Grady’s third at-bat, when he sent his fifth homer of the year off RedHawks lefty Cal Carver.
He might have heard that his third homer was out before he saw it.
“I heard the catcher was like, ‘No way,’ or something like that as I hit it, so I was like ‘Oh, I guess I did it,'” O’Grady said with a laugh.
O’Grady now has 14 RBIs in 10 games with Kansas City.
“I know I’m not going to hit three home runs every game, but just to feel better and feel like my old self; it’s all I wanted really, and I’m just really happy and having fun,” O’Grady said.
The Monarchs took an 8-1 lead in the fifth inning behind four home runs. Chris Herrmann hit a three-run round-tripper in the fourth inning in addition to Brady’s three blasts.
A 3-run homer for the Herrmannator!!
👑 Monarchs 4 | 🪶 RedHawks 0 🔝3 pic.twitter.com/UdcA9HxNta
— Kansas City Monarchs (@kscitymonarchs) July 8, 2023
It was Herrmann’s 12th homer of the season, bringing his league-best RBI total to 53.
The RedHawks rallied to take the lead late. Manuel Boscan hit a three-run homer to make it 8-4 in the bottom of the fifth.
Fargo-Moorhead added five more runs in the seventh. Matt Goodheart hit a pinch-hit two-run single to put the RedHawks within one, and Evan Alexander delivered a go-ahead two-run single to make it 10-9.
The Monarchs re-took the lead in the eighth. Kansas City loaded the bases against RedHawks reliever Alex DuBord, and LJ Hatch was hit by a pitch to force in the tying run.
“I just think we have a really good team,” O’Grady said. “We gave up the lead, but what did we do? We came right back and took it again.”
Kansas City took the lead for good on a sacrifice fly from Odubel Herrera.
Patrick Weigel worked a scoreless ninth inning to earn his second save in as many nights.
The Monarchs will go for their second sweep over Fargo-Moorhead this season in the series finale Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. Jalen Miller will start for Kansas City. Tyler Grauer will get the ball for the RedHawks.