Nick Belzer (5-2) of the Kansas City Monarchs (57-34) tossed his third quality start in a row, and J.C. Escarra went yard twice as the Monarchs beat the Sioux Falls Canaries (32-59) Saturday night, 7-4.
The Monarchs took the lead in the top of the third inning off “birds” starter Colby Wyatt (4-4) with a walk by Dylan Harris and a drag bunt single from Mallex Smith. Kevin Santa would show bunt on the first pitch that was low for a ball then foul the second offering to even the count at 1-1. He then roped a double down the right field line to score Harris, giving the Monarchs the lead. Darnell Sweeney would score Smith on a fielder’s choice to make it 2-0. With two outs, Jan Hernandez then hit an infield single to score Santa to give “kay-see” the 3-0 advantage.
Jabari Henry drove in a run off Belzer with a single in the bottom of the third to cut the lead to 3-1. The Monarchs came right back with a solo home run from J.C. Escarra in the top of the fourth to lead off the inning. It was his 11th of the year.
Kona Quiggle got the Canaries on the board in the home half of the fourth to make it a 4-2 lead for the Monarchs on an RBI single. Sioux Falls would grab another run on a solo home run from Henry in the fifth to make it a one-run game at 4-3. It was Henry’s 27th long ball of the year.
In the top of the sixth the Monarchs picked up and unearned run to make it 5-3 in favor of Kansas City. Casey Gillaspie would single off Cesilio Pimentel and score with two outs on a single to right from Harris that was misplayed for an error in right by Connor Blair.
Belzer would work a 1-2-3 sixth inning, including finishing the inning by teaming up with Casey Gillaspie on a on three-to-one put out at first base. It was the third consecutive quality start for Belzer who finished with a line of 6IP, 3H, 3R, 3ER, 3BB, 5SO in the win. The Monarchs got a scoreless stanza from Jeremey Rhoades out of the pen in the seventh.
In the eighth inning Gillaspie would work a one-out walk off Pimentel to get aboard for J.C. Escarra. The Florida native launched a two-run blast into the teeth of the south wind for his second home run of the night and his 12th of the season to make it 7-3.
In the bottom of the ninth, Wyatt Ulrich would hit an inside-the-park home run off Jameson McGrane to make it a 7-4 score. McGrane then would punch out Henry to end the game and give the Monarchs their third straight win and open the six-game road trip with a W.
The Monarchs and Canaries will play game two of their three-game series tomorrow night (8/27) at 6:05 p.m. The game can be heard on the Monarchs Broadcast Network with the pre-game beginning at 5:35 p.m. 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 monarchsbaseball.com. and the Monarchs Facebook and Twitter pages for updates throughout the season.
WP: Belzer (5-2)
LP: Wyatt (4-4)
BY: DAN VAUGHAN JR.