HEARTBREAKER SPOILS SERIES FINALE FOR KC
By Jack Johnson
FRANKLIN, WI – The Monarchs couldn’t hold a seven-run lead against Milwaukee on Thursday night, as the Milkmen smacked a walk-off home run off Carlos Diaz in the ninth to win 11-9 off the bat of Adam Brett Walker II. It was his third homer of the game.
Following an offensive explosion last night with 20 runs, the Monarchs (20-13) picked up right where they left off in Game 4. In the top of the first, Gillaspie rocked his 10th home run of the season with Ryan Grotjohn and Gabby Guerrero on base. Gillaspie, who’s now homered in four of his last five games, became the first Monarch to reach double digits in homers.
With questions still surrounding the rotation, manager Joe Calfapietra handed the ball to Jameson McGrane for his third start of the season. McGrane, however, was charged with a run in the home half of the first on a wild pitch. It was the first run McGrane has allowed since June 2nd vs. Sioux Falls.
In the top of the fourth, Kansas City put the game out of reach with the help of some blunders in the field from the Milkmen (21-13). The Monarchs plated two runs on a fielding error and a hit by pitch — which chased Milwaukee starter Ryan Zimmerman from the game. With a 5-1 lead and the bases loaded, Gillaspie came up big with a bases-clearing double to make it 8-1. The double gave Gillaspie a season-high six RBIs .
After McGrane tossed four innings of one run ball, Calfapietra handed the ball to Jose Taveras to bridge the gap to the final three innings. However, Taveras was tagged for three runs in two innings of work — cutting the lead to 8-4. Fortunately for Kansas City, the offense added an insurance run in the top of the eighth on an RBI-single from Darnell Sweeney.
The game nearly spiraled out of control in the bottom half of the eighth. After Elroy Urbina held down the Milwaukee bats in the seventh, Jacob Lindgren came on in relief to maintain the five-run cushion. Lindgren, though, was knocked around for four runs (three earned) — forcing Carlos Diaz to enter for a four-out save. The hard-throwing closer struck out former teammate Anibal Sierra for the final out of the eighth, keeping the 9-8 lead intact.
In the bottom of the ninth, Diaz was squared up. Before he could record an out, the Milkmen tallied back-to-back hits to put runners at first and third. Moments later, Brett Walker II scalded a three-run, walk-off homer to beat Kansas City 11-9.
The Monarchs will head to Lincoln to take on the Saltdogs for a three-game series beginning on Friday. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m. The game can be heard on the Monarchs Broadcast Network with the pre-game beginning at 6:40 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: Nate Hadley (2-0)
LP: Carlos Diaz (2-2)