by Gabriel Lopez, Monarchs
Jason Rogers had a huge night for the Lincoln Saltdogs (37-42) Friday night at Legends Field.
He was 2-4 with a walk from the plate with two home runs and five RBIs. Rogers belted a grand slam in the top of the ninth to put the game out of reach as the Saltdogs beat the Kansas City Monarchs (47-31) 11-5.
The Saltdogs scored right away in the first inning. After Rayder Ascanio worked a walk, Ryan Long roped a double to left-center. Center fielder Mallex Smith got the ball in quickly to Pete Kozma who delivered a one-hop to J.C. Escarra at the plate. However, the ball took a funny hop and bounced over Escarra’s head to allow Ascanio to score easily.
Rogers was walked to bring Josh Altmann to the plate. He delivered a three-run bomb over the home run patio in left field to give the Saltdogs a 4-0 lead.
The Monarchs responded in the bottom of the first as Jacob Robson hit a solo shot to right field, marking his first career home run as a Monarch. After one inning, Lincoln led 4-1 over Kansas City.
The Saltdogs extended their lead in the third inning. Long led off the inning with a double down the right field line and quickly advanced to third on a wild pitch from Matt Hartman. A few batters later, Altmann notched a sacrifice fly to right field to earn his fourth RBI of the game and put Lincoln up 5-1.
The Monarchs responded again as Jan Hernandez notched an RBI-single up the middle to score David Thompson. The Saltdogs led 5-2 over the Monarchs after three innings of baseball.
Kansas City continued to claw back into the game. Thompson led off the fifth inning with a single to left field and stole second base right away. After Matt Adams singled to right to advance Thompson to third, Escarra hit a ball to first base to score Thompson and make it a 5-3 ballgame.
The Monarchs threatened again in the bottom of the seventh. Adams led off the inning and hammered a solo shot to left field to bring Kansas City within one run. Next, Escarra, Ryan Grotjohn and Kozma were walked to load the bases. However, the Monarchs couldn’t cash in any more runs, as they still trailed 5-4.
In the top of the eighth, Rogers hit a solo home run to left field to put the Saltdogs up 6-4.
The Monarchs answered by scoring a run of their own. Thompson led off the eighth inning with a double off the left field wall. He was able to advance to third on an error made by left fielder Justin Byrd. Adams stepped up and drove a hard line drive up the middle to score Thompson and make it a 6-5 ballgame.
The Saltdogs blew the game open in the ninth inning. Ascanio notched an RBI-single to give them a 7-5 lead. With the bases loaded, Rogers belted a grand slam to left field to give Lincoln an 11-5 lead.
The Monarchs couldn’t get anything started in the bottom of the ninth as Kansas City fell 11-5 to Lincoln.
The Monarchs face off against the Saltdogs in game two at 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13, at Legends Field. The game can be heard on the Monarchs Broadcast Network with the pre-game beginning at 5:30 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.