by Dan Vaughan Jr., Monarchs
The Winnipeg Goldeyes (49-40) looked to be well on their way to a third straight win over the Kansas City Monarchs (55-34) Wednesday night at Legends Field in Kansas City, holding a 4-0 lead into the bottom of the fourth inning. Then the Monarchs’ bats awoke with three lightning strikes in a three home run bottom half of the fourth inning, to propel KC to a 10-7 win.
The Goldeyes jumped out early to a 2-0 lead thanks to a two-run home run from Ian Sagdal in the top of the first off Monarchs starter Matt Hartman (6-5).
In the second, Reggie Pruitt Jr. drove another run home with an RBI single to make it 3-0. In the top of the fourth Raul Navarro added another RBI single to make it 4-0 in favor of the “Manitobans.”
The home half of the fourth was a game changer. Ryan Grotjohn and Darnell Sweeney both reached on singles off Luis Ramirez, who had allowed just one hit and one walk until that point.
Jacob Robson hit a three-run homer to left to cut the lead to 4-3. Jan Hernandez followed with a solo shot over the hometown pen to tie the game at four. Ramirez was able to get a ground out on Casey Gillaspie but could not solve J.C. Escarra.
The Monarchs’ catcher hit a solo homer to right field to give Kansas City the lead 5-4. It was the fourth time this season the Monarchs have had a three-home run inning.
The Goldeyes evened the game in the top of the fifth on a Logan Hill RBI double, but the Monarchs came back to take the lead for good in the bottom of the stanza. Grotjohn worked a walk off R.J. Martinez (8-5) and flew around the sacks on a Sweeney RBI double down the left field line to grab the 6-5 advantage.
Kansas City hit its fourth long ball of the night in the sixth inning. Pete Kozma singled off Bryan Blanton. The Winnipeg right hander had held opponents to a .118 average, but the Monarchs came through with a walk of Mallex Smith and a three-run blast for Grotjohn to push the lead to 9-5.
Winnipeg then picked up a pair of runs in the seventh off Monarchs reliever Brian Glowicki. Kevin Lachance drove in a run on a sacrifice fly and Logan Hill added another run on a triple to cut the lead to 9-7.
The Monarchs got their final marker in the home half of the eighth on an RBI single off the bat of Kozma. Jameson McGrane picked up the save and got a game-ending double play after a one-out walk off the bat of Lachance.
The Monarchs picked up their 37th multi home run game and have homered in 70 of their 89 games. While the team continues to add to their American Association record of home runs with 154, the Monarchs are eight shy of a franchise mark of 162 set in the old Northern League in 2010.
The Monarchs and Goldeyes will wrap up the four-game series at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 25.
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 Monarchs games can be purchased by calling 913-328-5618 or by visiting monarchsbaseball.com.