By Nolan Brooks
ROSEMONT, Ill. — A five-run fourth inning paved the way for a Kansas City Monarchs 8-4 victory over the Chicago Dogs at Impact Field Sunday afternoon.
The Monarchs’ win ties the best-of-five Miles Wolff Cup Finals 1-1. Game 3 will be played in Kansas City at Legends Field on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.
We’ll take Jan Bombs all day long!!
3-run blast for Hernandez in the 4th!
👑 Monarchs 3 | 🌭 Dogs 0 | ⬆️ 4 pic.twitter.com/uEU9VA45X6
— Kansas City Monarchs (@kscitymonarchs) September 17, 2023
Monarchs starter Zac Grotz threw six innings allowing two runs on seven hits. He struck out four batters and walked one. The former Seattle Mariner’s six innings helped save a depleted Monarchs bullpen after a 16-inning loss in Saturday’s Game 1.
“I felt good early and I knew I had to try to go deep into the game,” Grotz said. “The plan was to go as deep as I could and pass it off to Finnegan. This was a must-win game and now we have momentum in our favor.”
Monarchs reliever Brandon Finnegan entered in the bottom of the seventh. With the bases loaded, Finnegan retired the next three batters to prevent an inherited run from scoring. Finnegan threw two innings allowing one eighth-inning run on three hits. He struck out two batters.
Jan Hernandez smoked a three-run homer in the fourth inning that started the Monarchs’ scoring.
“We had to tie this series here and we had a different plan today and good things happened,” Hernandez said.
After three scoreless innings, the Monarchs got on the board first in the fourth. Hernandez’s homer put KC up 3-0. Taylor Snyder laced an RBI double to make it 4-0. A LJ Hatch single gave the Monarchs a 5-0 lead after four innings.
The Dogs would get on the board in the fifth. Catcher Ryan Lidge crushed an RBI double and it was 5-1 Monarchs.
Chicago cut into the Kansas City lead in the seventh. First baseman Luke Mangieri hit a solo blast to make it 5-2 after seven.
The Monarchs responded in the eighth. Solo homers from Justin Wylie and Micker Adolfo put the Monarchs up 7-2.
Chicago put a run up in the bottom of the eighth. A Mangieri double cut the Monarchs’ lead to 7-3 through eight innings.
Chris Herrmann dropped down an RBI single and it was 8-3 Monarchs heading into the ninth.
Patrick Weigel entered in the ninth and closed out the game. The Dogs’ final run came on a solo homer from Jesus Lujano for the final score of 8-4. Weigel retired the next three batters to end the game.
Grotz got the win and Chicago starting pitcher Austin Faith got the loss.
The Monarchs continue the Miles Wolff Cup Finals against the Dogs. Game 3 is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Legends Field in Kansas City. Former major leaguer Ashton Goudeau will be on the mound for KC.