FRANKLIN Wisc. — The Kansas City Monarchs have clinched a series win in their biggest series of the year so far.
The Monarchs topped the Milwaukee Milkmen 9-6 in a battle of division leaders to claim the American Association’s best record Wednesday night.
Brian O’Grady and Gavin Collins both homered for the second straight night for the Monarchs (45-30). They expanded their lead in the American Association to six games.
Brian O’Grady doubles the Monarchs lead with a long ball!
— Kansas City Monarchs (@kscitymonarchs) August 10, 2023
Justin Wylie went 4-for-5 for Kansas City, driving in two. Jan Hernandez continued his hot hitting for the Monarchs, going 3-for-5 with two RBIs.
“We feel good right now. The pitching is there, the clutch hitting is there,” Hernandez said. “We have a good team right now.”
Hernandez has driven in 18 runs in 12 games since returning from a knee injury.
“Just put the ball in play, that’s it,” Hernandez said of his approach. “We have so many talented guys in the lineup.”
Brandon Finnegan got the win for the Monarchs, throwing five innings. He allowed three runs on seven hits, walking five and striking out two.
The Milkmen led 1-0 after three. Starter Christian Young struck out six and faced the minimum over three no-hit innings to start off the game.
The Monarchs’ offense came alive in the fourth, when Hernandez brought in two runs with a double (along with an error in the outfield). O’Grady hit a two-run homer one batter later.
It was O’Grady’s third homer in two nights and fifth blast in his last five games. He now has 10 home runs on the season in 34 games.
Milwaukee closed the gap to one run in the fourth inning, but they never got closer than that. Kansas City pulled away with two runs in each of the sixth and seventh innings. That included Collins’ two-run homer in the sixth, his 10th of the season.
Wylie added an insurance run with an RBI single in the top of the ninth. The Milkmen pushed two across in the bottom half, but Matt Hartman finished out the victory.
Kansas City goes for a sweep Thursday night at 6:35 p.m. Cody Deason will start for the Monarchs against Milwaukee’s Gregori Vasquez. Fans can tune in to the game at MonarchsBaseball.com/LIVE.