The Kansas City Monarchs (62-34) erased a 4-2 deficit in a five run sixth inning Wednesday night at Shaw Park, to overtake the Winnipeg Goldeyes (50-46) 8-5 completing a three-game sweep. The win extended the Monarchs winning streak to a season long eight games and was the sixth win this season in Winnipeg in six tries.
The Monarchs would get the game started with a lead off single for Mallex Smith off Goldeyes starter Landen Bourassa followed by another single by Darnell Sweeny. Ryan Grotjohn would single to give the Monarchs a 1-0 lead. The Goldeyes would answer with a solo home run by Max Murphy in the bottom of the first to tie the game off Nick Belzer (6-2) who got the starting nod for the Monarchs.
The Goldeyes would take the lead on an Ian Sagdal single in the third inning and add two more off Belzer in the fourth. Jacob Rhinesmith would hit a solo home run to left and Winnipeg would grab two more hits in the inning a make it 4-1 on a sacrifice fly from Reggie Pruitt Jr to lead it 4-1.
Kansas City cut the lead to two in the top of the fifth off Bourassa. Kevin Santa singled to start the inning, but the right-hander quickly retired the next two batters. Ryan Grotjohn worked a walk to put runners at first and second. Jacob Robson would deliver an RBI double to make it 4-2 in favor of the Goldeyes.
The big inning for Kansas City came in the top of the sixth. Winnipeg brought in Paul Schwendel out of the pen, and he would give up three straight hits to the Monarchs. J.C. Escarra and Casey Gillaspie both reached with Escarra scoring on an RBI single from Gio Brusa to cut the lead to 4-3. Kevin Santa would then hit into a fielder’s choice to force Brusa at second for the first out. Mallex Smith would work a walk to load the bases for Darnell Sweeney bringing a pitching change for Winnipeg. Lefty Travis Seabrook got the Monarchs third baseman to hit a roller to the right side of the mound that Seabrook would field and elect to throw home instead of on to first. The throw was late as Casey Gillaspie scored to tie the game at four. Ryan Grotjohn then drove in a pair with an RBI single to give the Monarchs the lead at 6-4. Jacob Robson drove in the seventh run on an infield single to make it a 7-4 Monarchs advantage. Erasmo Pinales would come into the game and get the final two outs to slow Kansas City.
Nick Belzer would be done after five innings tossing a final line of 5.0IP, 4R, 4ER, 2BB and 3SO and getting his sixth win this season. The Monarchs then went to the pen in the home half of the sixth with Jeremey Rhoades coming into the game. The Goldeyes would get a leadoff double from Michael Crouse, but Rhoads retired the next three batters to preserve the lead of 7-4 after six.
Left-hander Jordan Martinson would come into the game in the bottom of the seventh after the Monarchs failed to score in the top of the frame. Winnipeg would pick up an unearned run on a lead off walk by Reggie Pruitt Jr followed by a fielder’s choice that moved the runner to second. Pruitt Jr then moved to third on a stolen base with two outs. Ian Sagdal would walk to put runners at the corners. Sadgal would get caught in a run-down allowing Pruitt Jr to score with the Monarchs throw home wide of the plate to cut the lead to 7-5.
The Monarchs would buy the insurance policy in the top of the ninth. Casey Gillaspie and Gio Brusa drew walks off reliever Tasker Strobel to put two aboard for Kevin Santa. The Monarchs shortstop delivered an RBI double to make it 8-5 Kansas City.
In the bottom of the ninth Alex Valdez would be summoned into the game for the Monarchs allow a single to Raul Navarro but pick up the first out when Ian Sagdal forced Navarro out at second on a fielder’s choice. Max Murphy would single but Valdez got David Washington to fly to shallow center and struck out Michael Crouse to end the game.
The win kept the Monarchs 1.5 games behind the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks for the West Division lead in the American Association with four games to play. The Monarchs will be off Thursday (9/1) but will open the four-game series with the first place RedHawks Friday night (9/2) at Legends Field in Kansas City. The game can be heard on the Monarchs Broadcast Network with the pre-game beginning at 6:30 p.m. and the video stream airing on aa baseball.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 monarchs baseball.com. and the Monarchs Facebook and Twitter pages for updates throughout the season.
WP: Belzer (6-2)
LP: Schwendel (2-4)
S: Valdez (1)
By: Dan Vaughan, Jr.