MONARCHS LEAVE THE BIRDCAGE WITH TWO WINS WEDNESDAY NIGHT
SIOUX FALLS, SD — The Kansas City Monarchs took both ends of the doubleheader Wednesday night in Sioux Falls to send their record to 27-17 on the season.
By Jason Nick
MCGRANE STRIKES OUT NINE IN QUALITY START WIN
Right-hander Jameson McGrane (2-1) dominated in his Wednesday night performance on the mound in game one of a double-header as Kansas City (26-17) defeated Sioux Falls (18-25) 7-1.
McGrane was dealing all game, and the offense helped him out from the very start. The entire lineup for the Monarchs would bat in the first inning. As Ryan Grotjohn reached first base on a fielder’s choice, Jan Hernandez then hit a double that drove in Grotjohn to put the Monarchs on the board first. After a Gabby Guerrero single that moved Hernandez to third base, Casey Gillaspie drove in another run for the Monarchs on a single. Colin Willis kept the line moving with a single of his own driving in Guerrero for yet another run making it 3-0. It wouldn’t stop there, with Gillaspie and Willis on base, Morgan McCullough drove both runners in on a double making it a 5-0 game.
McGrane struck out the final two batters in the bottom of the first and was nowhere near done. In the second inning, he struck out the side, and then went on to strike out another in the third for his sixth straight strikeout.
In the third inning for the Monarchs offense, Will Kengor reached first on a walk. McCullough would then hit one to left field and reach on an error by the Canaries as Kengor scored all the way from first as the Monarchs went up 6-0.
Kansas City kept it going on the bats in the fourth. With Grotjohn reaching on a fielder’s choice once again and Hernandez being hit by a pitch putting runners at first and second, Guerrero drove in Grotjohn, adding to the Monarchs lead for a 7-0 contest. Guerrero finished his night two for four on two singles and an RBI.
McGrane added two more strikeouts to his statline in the fourth and fifth before finally giving up his first hit in the sixth inning on a double from Wyatt Ulrich. The Canaries would score in the sixth to finally put them on the board cutting into the Monarchs lead to 7-1.
That would be it for McGrane’s outstanding performance going six innings and only giving up three hits, one run, and two walks as he struck out nine in his quality start.
Right-hander Ryan Newell entered in the seventh replacing McGrane. Newell struck out one and got the job done securing the win for the Monarchs.
The Monarchs won 7-1 in part one of the double header. Kansas City has now won four in a row and advance to 26-17 on the season.
WP:Jameson McGrane (2-1)
LP: Pimental (3-3)
By Nathan Enserro
MONARCHS HOLD ON TO COMPLETE DOUBLE-HEADER SWEEP
The Kansas City Monarchs (27-17) pounced on mistakes by the Sioux Falls Canaries (18-26) late in a back-and-forth affair to complete the sweep of their double-header on July 7 by a score of 8-6.
The win kept the Monarchs within half a game of first place in the American Association South and moved their win streak to five games. They have win eight of their last ten.
After starting pitcher Justin Shafer surrendered three runs in the bottom of the second, his offense picked him up with a pair of two-run home runs by Jan Hernandez and Casey Gillaspie to put the Monarchs in the lead.
Shafer would only go 2.2 innings, allowing three runs before being replaced by reliever Elroy Urbina.
Three runs in the fourth off Urbina allowed the Canaries to wrest back the lead, but they wouldn’t hold it for long with the top of the order due up in the Monarchs’ half of the fifth.
Hernandez flew out to center field with runners on first and second, but an error on the Canary pitcher allowed Darnell Sweeney to race home from second to pull to within a run.
The next inning Collin Willis led off with a walk and came around to score from first when Will Kengor slapped a double into the gap to tie it. Daniel Wasinger moved Kengor to third with a sacrifice bunt and he scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch by Sioux Falls’ Caleb Frare.
The Monarchs brought in closer Carlos Diaz in the sixth to replace Brian Ellington and try for his second multi-inning save of the season. He allowed a single in the sixth, but quickly shut the door on the Canaries before they could get a rally going.
Meanwhile, the Kansas City offense gave Diaz a little insurance when a Morgan McCullough base hit brought home Willis from second. He nearly needed it.
The Canaries loaded the bases with one down in the bottom of the seventh and final inning, but Diaz managed a lineout to left and a fly out to center to hold onto the two-inning save.
WP: Brian Ellington (2-2)
LP: Caleb Frare (0-3)
S: Carlos Diaz (8)
The Kansas City Monarchs will see the Canaries again in Sioux Falls on Thursday night with first pitch being set for 7:05 p.m. The game can be heard on the Monarchs Broadcast Network with the pre-game beginning at 6:35 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.