The Kansas City Monarchs (44-22) continued their winning ways against the Sioux Falls Canaries (24-40) behind Willie Abreu’s strong performance at the plate. Abreu finished with a home run, double and five RBIs on the night. Abreu’s offensive onslaught propelled the Monarchs to a 6-1 win, their fifth in a row.
In the first inning, Ty Culbreth, starting pitcher for the Sioux Falls Canaries, retired the Monarchs in order, picking up his first of five strikeouts on the night. Jon Harris received the start for the Monarchs and controlled the Canaries early, retiring three out of four batteries in the first frame.
The Monarchs offense took flight in the second inning, starting off with a double from David Thompson. Between two at-bats ending in fly outs for the Monarchs, J.C. Escarra drew a walk to reach first. Alexis Olmeda displayed patience at the plate, drawing a walk to load the bases for Willie Abreu. Abreu took advantage of the opportunity and cleared the bases with a double to center field. Culbreth escaped the inning by striking out Kevin Santa, but the Monarchs led 3-0 heading into the home half of the second. In the bottom of the second, Harris picked up two strikeouts in the inning on his way to retiring three out of four Canaries once more, to hold them scoreless.
Both offenses were quiet in the third inning, as Culbreth retired three out of four Monarchs. Culbreth allowed one hit, a two-out double to David Thompson, but escaped unscathed in the inning, holding the Monarchs scoreless. Harris continued his scoreless outing with some support from the Monarchs infield. Pete Kozma, Chad De La Guerra and J.C. Escarra teamed up to complete an inning ending 6-4-3 double play following a one-out walk.
In the fourth frame, Abreu was once again a smooth operator with two outs. With J.C. Escarra on first base, Abreu drove a deep, no-doubt-about-it blast over the right field wall. Abreu’s two-run home run pushed the Monarchs lead to 5-0 heading into the bottom of the fourth. In the home half of the sixth, the Canaries finally answered on offense with a two-out, solo home run from Trey Michalczewski to cut the deficit to four runs. Harris walked one following the home run but struck out Kona Quiggle to end the inning.
The Canaries called upon Nate Garkow to replace Ty Culbreth on the mound. Garkow settled in quickly, striking out the first two batters he faced before surrendering a two-out double to David Thompson, Thompson’s third of the night. The Monarchs couldn’t add to their lead as Garkow secured a scoreless inning of work, retiring Gillaspie to end the top of the fifth inning. Harris continued his strong outing in the fifth inning, retiring the Canaries in order and picking up another strikeout on the night.
In the sixth inning, both offenses slowed down, with no runs added for either team and only two hits combined. Harris concluded his quality start with six innings of work, four hits allowed, two walks, four strikeouts, and only one earned run. The Monarchs led 5-1 heading into the seventh inning.
In the top of the seventh, Garkow, for the third inning in a row, retired three out of four Monarchs and allowed only one hit and no runs. Jordan Martinson entered on the mound to replace Harris for Kansas City. Martinson controlled the inning on the mound with two strikeouts and no runs or hits allowed, as he retired three out of the four Canaries he faced.
The Monarchs finally scored a run with Garkow on the mound in the eighth inning after an error from Osvaldo Martinez with runners on base. The Canaries error came following J.C Escarra’s double. Kansas City pushed the Monarchs lead to 6-1 heading into the bottom of the eighth. Martinson relied upon two Monarchs in the eighth, Pete Kozma and J.C. Escarra, to retire the side in order. Kozma and Escarra recorded three straight 6-3 putouts to hold the Canaries scoreless once more.
In the top of the ninth inning, Kansas City went down in order, as Garkow finished his night on the mound with no earned runs in five innings of relief work. Frank Rubio entered for Martinson, making quick work of the Canaries, retiring them in order to secure the win.
The Monarchs will play game two of their three-game series against the Sioux Falls Canaries (7/30) at 6:05 p.m. The game can be heard on the Monarchs Broadcast Network with the pre-game beginning at 5:30 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: Harris (4-1)
LP: Culbreth (6-4)
BY: CALEB GRIZZLE