STORM HOLDS OFF, KC BRINGS THUNDER

The Kansas City Monarchs (23-11) came away with an electrifying win Tuesday night against the Sioux City Explorers (14-19) as the team collected their first comeback win of the season by a score of 8-6 just before a storm rolled in. It was quite the offensive duel, as the Explorers and Monarchs had nine and ten hits, respectively, but the Monarchs offense continued their dominance, coming out on top in this one.

Monarchs’ Jon Harris would toe the rubber as the starter, but it was the Explorers’ Harris that would strike first. Sioux City got on the board early as Chase Harris, the first batter of the game, sent a solo shot to left field and jumped Sioux City out to a 1-0 lead. This would be the only noise from the first inning as the Monarchs were sat down in the bottom half in four batters.

Sioux City would have led off the second inning the same way they led off the first if it wasn’t for Gaby Guerrero’s home run robbing snag over the visitor’s bullpen. Although this would not save the Monarchs from surrendering any runs in the inning, as John Anthon would deliver for the Explorers with a 2 RBI triple to give Sioux City a 3-0 lead. In the bottom half, however, Jan Hernandez would do what he does better than anyone else in the American Association when he added to his AA leading home run totals with a solo homer over the left field Home Run Patio, cutting the deficit to two.

In the third, the Monarchs offense would capitalize on Jon Harris’ first 1-2-3 inning of the game. The scoring was led off with an RBI triple from Darnell Sweeney. Gaby Guerrero would then drive in Sweeney in the next at-bat with a single over Explorers second baseman Nate Samson, evening the score at three before the end of the inning.

The Explorers wouldn’t let the game stay tied for long, however, as a pair of doubles from Chase Harris and Adelmar Rifaela in the fifth inning gave Sioux City the lead once again, 4-3. The Monarchs would answer with a double of their own after Matt Adams went against the shift down the left field line, but was unable to cross the plate.

Leadoff home runs continued to be the theme of the night for Sioux City as Trey Martin led off the top of the sixth with a solo bomb to left field, making the score 5-3 Explorers and chasing Jon Harris from the game for Jordan Martinson. Martinson’s first batter of the game, Chase Harris, would send a deep fly to the deepest part of the park in left center where Kansas City center fielder Willie Abreu would make a stellar over-the-shoulder catch to save a run, end the inning, and keep the Monarchs deficit at two.

Sioux City would only add on to the tally in the seventh, however. A ground-rule double from Danny Amaral and a single from Nate Samson would extend the lead to 6-3 Explorers. Martinson would then turn a double play and get a strikeout to escape a bases-loaded jam and limit the damage. In the bottom half, the Monarchs had a shot to cut the deficit with Darnell Sweeney on third and Gaby Guerrero at the plate, but Sweeney was cut down at home to end the inning while trying to tag up on a Guerrero fly ball to left.

With weather quickly rolling in in the eighth, Monarchs’ David Thompson used the wind to his advantage to hit a line drive to right field that the wind would just push over the fence, giving him a two run home run and cutting the Explorers lead to one. A two out Pete Kozma walk brought Monarchs catcher J.C. Escarra to the plate. Escarra came through in a big way with an RBI triple to the right-center gap, putting himself at third base in a now tied ballgame. This would turn the lineup over to Willie Abreu, who would slap a backhand ground ball to third base, beating the throw out and scoring Kozma to give Kansas City their first lead of the game, 7-6. After Abreu stole second and third base in back-to-back pitches, Darnell Sweeney would continue the two out rally with a textbook line drive single to straightaway center field, scoring Abreu and cushioning the Monarchs lead 8-6.

Jameson McGrane would enter for the Monarchs in the top of the ninth, collecting two strikeouts before retiring the side in four batters, sealing the Monarchs win.

The Monarchs will go head-to-head against the Sioux City Explorers for game two of the three-game homestand Wednesday night (6/22) at 7:00 p.m. 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 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.WP: Frank Rubio (1-0)

LP: Max Kuhns (0-4)

S: Jameson McGrane (5)

Boxscore