By Nolan Brooks
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — In what started out as a pitcher’s duel for the Kansas City Monarchs and Sioux City Explorers, the Explorers’ big sixth inning was the difference in their 8-1 victory at Legends Field Thursday night.
A Miguel Sierra triple and a Daniel Perez two-run homer put the Explorers ahead 5-0 in the sixth inning.
The win gives Sioux City the series victory over the Monarchs, who will look to bounce back Friday night against Chicago.
The Explorers began the scoring with an RBI sacrifice fly from Jack Kelly in the second inning. From there, the game remained quiet as both starting pitchers were dominant.
Sioux City starter Trenton Toplikar threw eight innings of one-run ball, scattering seven hits while walking one and striking out five.
The sixth inning was where the Explorers took off. A single from John Nogowski put runners in scoring position. The Sierra triple would score two runs and it was 3-0 in the sixth inning. A two-run homer from Perez made it 5-0 after six innings.
Kansas City starter Jalen Miller allowed four runs over five innings of work on three hits, He walked five and struck out four.
The only run the Monarchs had was on a solo homer from Justin Wylie in the sixth inning. That solo shot was his first of the year at Legends Field and second overall.
The Explorers got three unearned runs in the eighth inning to go up 8-1.
Monarchs outfielder Odubel Herrera made his team debut in the ninth inning, pinch-hitting and striking out to end the game.
Trenton Toplikar got the win (1-0) and Jalen Miller got the loss (4-2).
The Monarchs begin a three-game series versus the Chicago Dogs. Game one is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday.