The Kansas City Monarchs (2-0) completed the two-game sweep of the Lincoln Saltdogs (0-2) by a score of 8-3 Friday night at Legends Field behind the outstanding night from third baseman Darnell Sweeney. Sweeney was responsible for seven of the eight Monarch runs thanks to a two-run home run and a grand slam.

The second game of the West Division Playoff Series got started in a unique way. After an error and walk got the bottom half of the inning off to a Monarchs-friendly start, Ryan Grotjohn made it even friendlier with an RBI single. Later, Jan Hernandez came to the plate with Darnell Sweeney at third. During the at-bat, Saltdogs catcher Skyler Weber would attempt to pick Sweeney off at third base, but the throw would doink right off of the barrel of Hernandez’ bat and roll towards the home dugout, scoring Sweeney unearned and giving the Monarchs a first inning 2-0 lead.

Monarchs pitcher Jalen Miller would continue his dominance on the mound to this point, still not allowing a baserunner through three. In the bottom of the third, the Monarchs offense would come back alive when Darnell Sweeney would follow up Mallex Smith’s leadoff walk with a 2-run home run, extending the lead to 4-0.

However, the Saltdogs offense wasn’t going to wait around forever. In the top of the fourth, Miller would finally show some cracks, as a pair of home runs – one solo and one two-run – would cut the Kansas City lead to one. That one-run lead felt a little too close for Darnell Sweeney, however, as he added on to his outstanding night with a grand slam, making it a five run lead for the Monarchs, 8-3.

The momentum would continue to sway in the Monarchs’ favor in the top of the fifth when reliever Jordan Martinson would enter on and promptly strike out the side in order. Unfortunately, the momentum wouldn’t amount to much on the offensive side, as the side would be retired despite a walk from J.C. Escarra.

This would be the beginning of a lot of zeros for the rest of the game, as not another run crossed the plate for the remainder of the game, despite there only being one more 1-2-3 inning. Alex Valdez started the top of the ninth on the bump for the Monarchs and allowed two baserunners, but neither would score, sending the Monarchs to the West Division Championship Series with a final score of 8-3.

The Monarchs will begin the Western Division Championship Series Monday night (9/12) on the road against the winner of the Winnipeg Goldeyes and Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks series that is tied at one game apiece. The game can be heard on the Monarchs Broadcast Network with the pre-game beginning 30 minutes before game time and the video stream airing on aa baseball.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 monarchs baseball.com. and the Monarchs Facebook and Twitter pages for updates throughout the season.

WP: Jalen Miller (1-0)

LP: Garett Delano (0-1)

S: N/A


By: Adam Cook