By Nolan Brooks
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Solomon Bates struck out 15 batters, leading the Sioux City Explorers to a 5-2 victory over the Kansas City Monarchs Monday night at Legends Field in the opener of a three-game series.
The Explorers can thank Miguel Sierra and John Nogowski for their homers but Bates stole the show on the mound. Bates’ 15 strikeouts left him two shy of tying the American Association record of 17. Sioux City tallied 18 combined strikeouts on the night.
Olivier Basabe went 3-for-4 with an RBI for Kansas City. The Monarchs will look to even the series and get back in the win column on Tuesday at 11 a.m.
Sioux City jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second inning on a solo shot from Sierra.
The Monarchs wasted no time getting back the run. KC answered on two-out singles from Micker Adolfo, Dylan Rosa, and Basabe. The trio of singles tied the game at one in the second inning.
After a few quiet innings, the Explorers added some insurance runs. A three-run homer from John Nogowski made it 5-1 Explorers after five innings. Nogowski finished with four RBIs on the night.
After a few more Bates strikeouts, the Monarchs made one final push in the eighth inning.
A Keon Broxton single started the rally. Then a Chris Herrmann RBI single would score Broxton and it was 5-2 Sioux City after eight innings.
Sean Rackoski then entered and shut the door on the Monarchs to get the save. Brandon Finnegan got the loss (2-1) and Bates got the win (4-3).
The Monarchs continue a three-game series versus the Sioux City Explorers. Game two is scheduled for 11 a.m. Tuesday.