The Kansas City Monarchs (33-17) slugged home runs number 103, 104, and 105 on the season in a close call on the road against the Lincoln Saltdogs (25-24). Casey Gillaspie played a huge factor in the game with his glove and his two-home-run night.
The Saltdogs jumped out in front in the Monarchs fourth consecutive road game on Friday night with a run in the bottom of the second inning.
The Monarchs offense was able to easily combat the early 1-0 deficit with three consecutive innings with one run in each the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings. Catcher J.C. Escarra drove in the Monarchs first run in the fourth inning on a single that scored Willie Abreu. The next two innings were both long-ball innings for Kansas City. Jan Hernandez mashed his 20th homer of the season to give the visiting Monarchs a 2-1 lead. A few minutes later Casey Gillaspie would add a moonshot of his own to add to the lead (3-1).
After surrendering a run in the second inning, Monarchs starter Matt Hartman would go on a tear by throwing up four scoreless frames in a row. The righty showed the entire Lincoln crowd just why he was selected to compete in the American Association All-Star game next week in Chicago. Hartman would finish the game with 6IP, 1R, 3BB, 7K, and just two hits.
A lead, especially on the road, can never be too safe, and the Monarchs offense knows that. It was only right that Casey Gillaspie would go deep again for Kansas City, making it his second homer on the night, and it gave his team a larger lead at 4-1.
The “salty dogs”, however, would make things extremely interesting in their last call during the bottom of the ninth inning. Jameson McGrane was called on out of the Monarchs bullpen to seal the deal, but the first three Lincoln hitters reached base before Kansas City could get an out. Hunter Clanin would shoot a single into the outfield to cut the Monarchs lead down to 4-2. With runners on and still nobody out, the Monarchs needed a stop. The man for the job was Casey Gillaspie, continuing his terrific evening. The left-handed first baseman would make the biggest defensive play of the evening by recording a 3-6 double play. The very next batter would be sat down on strikes by Jameson McGrane to complete the series opener victory over the Lincoln Saltdogs (4-2).
The Monarchs will continue their series with the Saltdogs tomorrow evening up in Lincoln with game time 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: Hartman (4-2)
LP: Delano (2-2)
S: McGrane (8)
By: JAXSON WEBB