Guerrero Drives in Four to Lead Monarchs to Series Opening Win
KANSAS CITY, Kan. –The Monarchs overcame late defensive miscues with the bat of Gabby Guerrero in a 9-6 win over the Cleburne Railroaders on Friday night. The victory marks the third of the season for Kansas City.
Despite the non-spring-like weather that had the game time temperature at 53 degrees and north winds at 11 mph at Legends Field, the offense warmed those in attendance with a blazing start in the first inning.
Following a scoreless frame from RHP Justin Shafer, who was making his season debut, the Monarchs blitzed Railroaders starter Tristan Roberts in the home half of the inning. After the first two hitters reached and moved up on a wild pitch, Jan Hernandez plated the game’s first run on a groundout. In the ensuing at-bat, Guerrero rocked a two-run shot over the wall in right-center field to give Kansas City a 3-0 lead. He finished with four RBIs on the night.
The good fortune, however, was squandered quickly. In the top of the second, Cleburne stormed back and tagged Shafer for three runs on four hits — including a solo home run by Hunter Clanin. With Shafer only scheduled to throw two innings, the Monarchs turned to the bullpen and found stability in the form of RHP Dylan Baker. Baker, who last pitched on May 22, began his outing with three scoreless innings.
“We just had to get Shafer going tonight,” Joe Calfapietra said. “We figured we’d give him the two [innings] and then go with Baker.”
Kansas City reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the third on a sacrifice fly from Johnny Field. The Monarchs held their slim one-run advantage until the top of the sixth.
The Railroaders tallied two runs (one unearned) to take back the lead at 6-5. In the bottom of the sixth, Kansas City racked up five runs (all unearned) on an error and two wild pitches to take a commanding 9-5 lead. RHP Jameson McGrane relieved Baker in the seventh inning and allowed one run on one hit in two innings of work.
“After we gave up the lead, we battled,” manager Joe Calfapietra said. “So that was good. It was a good win.”
In the top of the ninth, Carlos Diaz worked around some trouble and slammed the door for his first save of the season.
Kansas City continues the three-game series tomorrow night against the Cleburne Railroaders as part of a six game homestand. First pitch is slated for 7:00 p.m. at Legends Field in KCK. The game can be heard on the Monarchs Broadcast Network with the pre-game beginning at 6:35 p.m. and the video stream will air 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 (817) 739-3693. Stay tuned to monarchsbaseball.com. and the Monarchs Facebook and Twitter pages for updates throughout the season.
LISTEN TO ALL MONARCHS GAMES LIVE ON THE MONARCHS BROADCAST NETWORK
by Dan Vaughan, Kansas City Monarchs