SIOUX CITY, Iowa — Brandon Finnegan lived up to the hype in his much-anticipated Kansas City Monarchs debut, but the game’s result didn’t go according to plan.
Sioux City edged the Monarchs 2-1 to earn a season-opening three-game sweep on Sunday evening at Lewis and Clark Park.
A walk-off sacrifice fly from Wilfredo Gimenez sealed a 2-1 win for Sioux City (3-0), who swept the Monarchs in a season-opening doubleheader on Saturday.
The former Kansas City Royal Finnegan tossed five shutout innings, allowing two hits (both singles), walking none and striking out four. He threw 63 pitches.
On a misty day with the wind blowing in from center field, runs were at a premium throughout the afternoon.
The Monarchs (0-3) took the early lead in the first inning, loading the bases with none out. Jan Hernadez hit into a double play, bringing Johneshwy Fargas in with the game’s first run.
Hernandez would leave the game in the fourth inning after fouling a ball off his foot.
Sioux City leveled the score in the sixth inning. With men on first and second, Jake Sanford hit a potential double-play ball to shortstop. Second baseman Olivier Basabe’s throw to first base got away, allowing Vince Fernandez to score the tying run from second.
The Monarchs threatened again in the seventh inning, putting runners on first and third with two away. Fargas drove a ball to deep left field, but Sioux City left fielder Eury Pérez made an outstanding leaping catch against the wall to keep the game tied.
The Explorers loaded the bases with none out in the ninth after a walk, an error and an intentional walk. That brought up Gimenez, who ended the game with a flyout to deep left field.
The Monarchs are off Monday. They will look to get in the win column Tuesday morning when they start a three-game road series at the Gary SouthShore RailCats. First pitch of the series opener is set for 11 a.m. Central time.
About the Kansas City Monarchs
The Kansas City Monarchs are a professional baseball team in the American Association, an MLB Partner League. This year, they are celebrating their 20th year of baseball in Kansas City, Kansas. In 2020, the team partnered with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and changed their name from the T-Bones to the Monarchs in honor of the legendary Negro League franchise that played from 1920 to 1965. The Monarchs won ten Negro American League championships and two Negro League World Series championships in their history. The team featured numerous notable players over the years, including Hall of Famers Satchel Paige, Jackie Robinson, Ernie Banks, and Buck O’Neil.
About the American Association
The American Association of Professional Baseball played its first season in 2006. It is a professional partner league that is affiliated with Major League Baseball but not specifically with any one team. The league consists of 12 teams located primarily in the Midwest and the South of the United States. Its season runs from May to September and features players who are looking to showcase their talents for a chance to be signed by a major league team.