GARY, Ind. - The Kansas City Monarchs (9-10) are headed home on a two-game winning streak after winning their second road series in a row by defeating the Gary SouthShore RailCats (11-11) 6-1 Thursday night at the Steel Yard.
The Monarchs got busy in the first inning with a led off double by Darnell Sweeney. Jan Hernandez stepped up to the plate followed with a double scoring Sweeney for a 1-0 lead. Hernandez stole second base while Gabby Guerrero was at-bat. Guerrero then advanced to first after a single to centerfield driving in Hernandez, putting Kansas City over Gary 2-0 after just the top of the first.
In the top of the second KC was rolling again. Monarchs’ newcomer Alexis Olmeda hit a single then advanced to second thanks to a single to center field by Kevin Santa. With two outs Ryan Grotjohn drove in Olmeda to punch the lead to 3-0.
The RailCats got on the board in the bottom of the second, cutting into the Monarchs lead 3-1. The Monarchs kicked up the energy in the top of the fifth, starting with a walk for Ryan Grotjohn. Grotjohn then stole second while Guerrero was up at-bat. Guerrero then reached base after an error by the RailCats catcher Jackson Smith that allowed Grotjohn to score and Guerrero to reach second.
Casey Gillaspie drew a walk on a check swing on a 3-2 count. RailCats manager Greg Tagert was ejected after arguring the call on the free pass. Collin Willis would single to right to score Guerrero picking up his third RBI of the series for a 5-1 lead.
Cody Mincey came onto the mound in the bottom of the sixth in relief of Justin Shafer (1-1). Shafer finished with five innings, three hits, and four strikeouts to pick up his first win of the season. Mincey worked two scoreless innings holding the RailCats hitless while striking out three before turning the ball over to new Monarchs lefty Elroy Urbina. Urbina worked a scoreless eighth inning in his first outing for Kansas City.
In the top of the ninth with two outs on the board, Guerrero recorded a solo home run to center to put an exclamation point on the night for Kansas City 6-1. In the bottom of the ninth Brian Ellington worked a 1-2-3 frame to finish off the RailCats including two strike outs.
The Kansas City Monarchs will travel home to face off against the Houston Apollos at Legends Field Friday night. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. with the gates opening at 5 p.m. The game can be heard on the Monarchs Broadcast Network with the pre-game beginning at 6:35 p.m. and the video stream airing on aabaseball.tv.