The Kansas City Monarchs (63-35) dialed up a pair of home runs and rode a solid outing from starter Jalen Miller (2-0) to take a 3-2 win in game two of the four-game series over the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks (64-34).
The Monarchs used the long ball right off the bat in the first inning. Mallex Smith singled to start the game off lefty hurler Peyton Wigginton (9-3). Then, with two outs, Jacob Robson hit his eighth homer of the season to center to give “kay-see” a 2-0 lead. The home run tied the franchise mark for home runs in a season at 162.
In the home half of the fifth, Alexis Olmeda hit a solo home run to right his seventh to give the Monarchs a 3-0 lead and to set a new franchise single-season record. The Monarchs old record came in 2010 when the club played in the Northern League.
Jalen Miller would surrender just two hits in 5.1, but the RedHawks would work six walks on the evening. Miller added six strikeouts and would exit in the sixth with one out. The right hander got stronger as the game went on, and in the fourth and fifth inning he would walk the lead-off batter then retire the next three batters to keep the “Fargos” at bay.
In the sixth Joran Martinson came into the game with one on and one out. Rymer Liriano would single but was retired trying to stretch the single to a double on an outfield assist from Mallex Smith. Martinson would get the final out on a fly out off the bat of Alec Olund to keep the Monarchs in the lead at 3-0.
Fargo-Moorhead would cut into the Kansas City lead in the top of the seventh. Martinson would strikeout Nick Novak but hit Christian Correa with a pitch. Peter Maris followed with an infield single to put two on for the RedHawks. Martinson would strikeout Manuel Boscan but would hit Drew Ward to load the bases. Leo Pena would hit a single to drive in two runs, but Martinson would get John Silviano to fly out to center to end the stanza.
Brandon Koch worked a 1-2-3 eighth including two strikeouts to take the game to the top of the ninth. Alex Valdez would strikeout pinch hitter Ben Livorsi but issue a free pass to Peter Maris. Manuel Boscan hit into a fielder’s choice forcing out Maris at second for the second out of the inning. Valdez would strikeout Drew Ward looking to earn the save (2) in a 3-2 Monarchs win.
The win pulled the Monarchs to one game behind the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks for the West Division lead in the American Association with two games to play. The RedHawks magic number to win the west is two. The RedHawks will clinch the division crown with one more win while the Monarchs will need to win the last two games to claim their third regular season division title in a row.
Both teams are playoff bound and will face off in game three of the four-game series Sunday afternoon (9/4) at Legends Field in Kansas City with a first pitch set for 3:00 p.m. The game can be heard on the Monarchs Broadcast Network with the pre-game beginning at 2:30 p.m. and the video stream airing on aa baseball.tv.
Tickets to all Monarchs regular season and playoff 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.
WP: Miller (2-0)
LP: Wigginton (9-3)
Save: Valdez (2)