Grotjohn, Sweeney Lead Monarchs in Rout of Explorers
By Jaxson Webb
SIOUX CITY, IA —As the regular season winds down, each game grows in importance. For the Sioux City Explorers (41-37) who sit right on the outside of the playoff picture at 12 games back in the South, victories are high in demand. The division-leading Kansas City Monarchs (53-25) have dropped their previous two road series, but worked to change that in the series finale in Iowa.
The Explorers would place the ball in the hands of lefty starter Patrick Ledet (6-4) who would face the red-hot Monarchs offense for the second time this season. Ledet leads the Sioux City pitching staff with 84 strikeouts, and he is searching to collect more.
Kansas City’s starter Nick Travieso would be facing the Explorers offense for the second time as well this season. Travieso came in as a reliever in his previous meeting with Sioux City.
The two pitchers would throw quickly and efficiently through their first inning of work, both tossing scoreless frames. Kansas City struck first in the top of the second inning with three runs. Darnell Sweeney would double to left field and drive in Charcer Burks, Will Kengor, and Alexis Olmeda (3-0). The Monarchs offense kept the pressure on, adding another run the next inning by way of a Kengor RBI double, making the score 4-0 KC. The hit would extend his hitting streak to 18 straight games.
Nick Travieso was able to motor until the bottom of the third before giving up his first run of the evening. Sioux City would collect three hits and two runs in the inning to shrink the gap (4-2).
Both of the experienced starters would regroup and go flawlessly through the fourth.
The fifth inning, however, was full of runs. Four would go to Kansas City in the top half after a leadoff double, followed by a walk, hit by pitch, single, and another double. Burks and Grotjohn would pick up the RBI’s to make it 8-2, Kansas City. Sebastian Zawada singled to right, scoring Joseph Monge, making it 8-3.
Nick Travieso turned the ball over to Elroy Urbina after the end of the fifth. Travieso faced 25 batters on the night, giving up nine hits, and just one base on balls. Ledet also left in the fifth. He would add to his season strikeout total by fanning 10 Kansas City batters, but he struggled keeping them off the board. The lefty would leave with 11 hits, two walks, and eight runs.
Kansas City kept things rolling offensively in the sixth. Guerrero, Isabel, Kengor, and Olmeda would all tally hits in the inning to add on two more runs and increasing the lead to 10-3.
Elroy Urbina found his groove out of the bullpen again for the Monarchs. The crafty lefty threw three scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and one walk. Urbina would sit three Explorers down on strikes.
It is never too late for runs for the Monarchs. Joe Calfapietra’s squad added six runs in the last two frames. Colin Willis’ two-run home run served to be the highlight that would end the red-hot offensive night, bringing the final score to 16-3.
The Monarchs will begin a new series Friday evening with the Chicago Dogs with the first pitch at 7:05 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: Nick Travieso (8-8)
LP: Patrick Ledet (6-5)