By Nolan Brooks
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A three-run homer from the Lake Country DockHounds’ Juan Graterol in the eighth inning helped them secure an 8-3 win over the Kansas City Monarchs at Legends Field Monday afternoon.
The Monarchs finish the regular season 59-40 as the West Division champions and with the best record in the American Association. The Monarchs will compete in a best-of-three series against the Sioux Falls Canaries to begin the playoffs, starting Wednesday night at the Birdcage.
The Monarchs’ first home playoff game is set for Friday night at 7 p.m. from Legends Field.
Monarchs starting pitcher Matt Hartman threw four shutout innings allowing only one hit. He struck out three batters across the four innings of work.
Monarchs outfielder Jan Hernandez hit his 15th homer of the year and second in as many games in a 2-for-4 day at the plate.
DockHounds starter Austin Davis held the Monarchs scoreless for all five innings he threw. He struck out seven batters and allowed only four hits and two walks.
The DockHounds plated five runs in the top of the sixth. Third baseman Jaxx Groshans hit an RBI single to make it 1-0. Marcus Chiu dropped down a two-run single that made it 3-0 Lake Country. Curtis Terry smoked a two-run double and it was 5-0 DockHounds after six.
The Monarchs rallied in the bottom of the seventh. Monarchs catcher Andy Yerzy laced an RBI single to cut the lead to 5-1 DockHounds. Hernandez’s two-run blast brought the Monarchs within two runs. It was 5-3 Lake Country after seven.
Graterol’s eighth-inning three-run blast put the DockHounds up 8-3 for the final score of the game.
Monarchs reliever Trey Cobb got the loss (0-1) and Davis got the win (1-3).
UP NEXT: The Monarchs begin the first round of the American Association West Division playoffs against the Canaries. Game one is scheduled for Wednesday, September 6, at 6:35 p.m. at The Birdcage.