Kansas City Monarchs’ All-Stars, Matt Hartman and Matt Adams, led the Monarchs to a dominant, 10-3 victory over the Gary SouthShore Railcats. Hartman and Adams led the way with their respective nine strikeouts and two home runs. Adams’ two home runs on the night brought his total to four in the past four games and added to his league leading total of 19 on the year.
In the first inning, Matt Hartman, the All-Star pitcher who received the start for the Monarchs, held the Railcats scoreless in the first frame. Hartman picked up two of his nine strikeouts on the night in the top of the first. Nick Garcia, the All-Star pitcher for the Railcats, dealt a scoreless first inning and only faced three batters, recording two strikeouts. Darnell Sweeney reached first with a hard hit single but was caught stealing following a Casey Gillaspie strikeout.
Hartman continued his strong performance on the mound in the top of the second by retiring the side in one, two, three fashion. In the bottom of the second the fireworks started early at Legends Field. Matt Adams kicked off the July 4th weekend celebrations with a deep blast over the left field wall to give the Monarchs a 1-0 lead, his first of two home runs on the night. Gaby Guerrero reached first base with a fielders’ choice following a David Thompson walk. With Guerrero on first, Chad De La Guerra roped a hard hit between the Railcats shortstop to put two runners on with only one out. Pete Kozma brought home Guerrero with an RBI double to right field. Alexis Olmeda stepped to the plate to provide the grand finale for the second inning with a crushed, three-run home run over the left field wall. The Monarchs led 5-0 heading into the third inning.
In the third inning, Hartman once again added to his strikeout total, striking out two of the four batters he faced and holding the Railcats hitless. In the home half of the third, Garcia surrendered three more runs to the Monarchs. Jan Hernandez reached first to start the inning with a single, and after recording one out, Garcia walked the next two batters he faced to load the bases. Kozma, following a lineout from De La Guerra, poured on the runs with a bases clearing RBI double that snuck past the right fielder to the corner. Garcia escaped the inning by securing a pop out from Alexis Olmeda, leaving the Monarchs up 8-0 after three innings played.
Hartman and Garcia both recorded one strikeout in the fourth inning on their way to their respective one, two, three innings on the mound. In the fifth, Hartman continued his quick efforts on the mound, striking out two of three en route to another scoreless inning. In the bottom of the fifth, the Monarchs added to their lead with the American Association home run leader and All-star, Matt Adams, blasting another solo shot, this time over the right field wall. Garcia allowed one more run in the inning via a sacrifice fly from Pete Kozma, following two singles from Thompson and De La Guerra. The Monarchs pushed their lead to 10-0 heading into the top of the sixth behind Kozma’s fifth RBI of the night.
In Hartman’s final inning of work, the Railcats finally found their way across the plate. Following Daniel Lingua’s hit by pitch at-bat, Victor Nova hit a two run home run to right field. Hartman picked up his eight and ninth strikeouts on the night and brought the inning to a close with the Monarchs leading 10-2. Hartman finished the night with six innings pitched, three hits allowed, nine strikeouts, 2 walks, and two earned runs. In the bottom of the sixth, Garcia slowed the Monarchs offense down and held them scoreless, retiring three out four and allowing no hits in his final inning of work. Garcia finished with six innings pitched, ten hits allowed, five strikeouts, three walks, and ten earned runs.
In the seventh inning, the Monarchs made a plethora of defensive substitutions, replacing Pete Kozma with Kevin Santa, and Willie Abreu replacing David Thompson. Darnell Sweeney moved to third base while Abreu filled in in left field, and on the mound Brock Gilliam replaced Matt Hartman. Gilliam allowed a one-out, solo home run to Chris Burgess before settling in and retiring the side. The Monarchs looked to add to their lead in the seventh following a one-out double from Gaby Guerrero. Kansas City was not able to capitalize with a runner in scoring position on the Railcats’ reliever, Ryan Campbell. Campbell forced a flyout and groundout to end the inning and hold their deficit at eight heading into the eighth.
In the top of the eighth, Brock Gilliam retired the Railcats in order, ending the inning with back to back strikeouts. In the bottom of the eighth, the Railcats’ Campbell held the Monarchs’ scoreless in spite of a leadoff walk from Darnell Sweeney.
Kansas City called upon Cam Hill, from the Swope Health bullpen, to close the door on Gary SouthShore in the top of the ninth. Hill struck out two of the first three batters he faced and retired the side in one, two, three fashion to secure the series win.
The final game of the three game series against the Gary SouthShore RailCats is tomorrow afternoon (7/3) at 3:00 p.m. The game can be heard on the Monarchs Broadcast Network with the pre-game beginning at 2:30 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: Matt Hartman (3-2)
LP: Nick Garcia (5-1)
By: CALEB GRIZZLE