By Nolan Brooks
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A five-run top of the fifth boosted the Sioux City Explorers to an 8-4 victory over the Kansas City Monarchs at Legends Field Tuesday night.
The Monarchs (55-38) remain one game away from clinching their fourth consecutive West Division championship.
Sioux City starting pitcher Solomon Bates threw 4.1 innings before leaving the game with an injury. He gave up one earned run on two hits and two walks. He struck out three.
Chris Herrmann hit his 22nd homer of the season to increase his lead at the top of the league RBI leaderboard. He now has 86 on the season.
#22 for the Herrmannator!! Asta la vista ball!
👑 Monarchs 4 | ❌ Explorers 8 | ⬇️8 pic.twitter.com/r9wSgvI6Hb
— Kansas City Monarchs (@kscitymonarchs) August 30, 2023
Monarchs starting pitcher Zach Matson and Sioux City’s Bates started the game in a pitcher’s duel. Both teams were scoreless through three innings.
The Explorers got on the board first in the top of the fourth. Back-to-back solo shots from Scott Ota and John Nogowski made it 2-0 Explorers.
The Explorers plated five runs in the top of the fifth inning. A throwing error from Justin Wylie allowed a run to score making it 3-0. Daniel Lingua dropped a bunt single down that scored a run to make it 4-0.
After Sioux City loaded the bases, Matt Lloyd smoked an RBI double to make it 6-0. Wilfredo Giminez hit an RBI double one batter later that pushed the Explorers’ lead to 7-0 midway through the fifth.
The Monarchs rallied in the bottom of the fifth. LJ Hatch smashed an RBI double to get the Monarchs on the board, making it 7-1.
Andy Yerzy would later score from third on a balk call on Explorers reliever Trenton Toplikar that made it 7-2. Odubel Herrera later grounded out to score Hatch. It was 7-3 Explorers after five innings.
Lingua hit an RBI double that pushed the Explorers’ lead to 8-3 after six innings.
Herrmann’s solo homer in the bottom of the eighth made it 8-4 for the final score of the game.
Sean Rockoski entered in the ninth and closed out the game for the Explorers. Explorers reliever Max Kuhns got the win (1-0) and Matson got the loss (5-4).
UP NEXT: The Monarchs continue a three-game home series versus the Explorers. Game two is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday. Ashton Goudeau will start on the mound for the Monarchs versus Sioux City’s Austin Drury.