KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The Kansas City Monarchs scored nine runs between the fifth and seventh innings to secure their 11-2 victory over the Sioux City Explorers in Game 1 of the South Division Championship Series and take a 1-0 series lead.
After plating two runs in the bottom of the first inning, Gabby Guerrero whacked a two-out, two-run home run the opposite way to right to double the Monarchs lead to 4-0 in the bottom of the fifth.
The four runs were surrendered by X’s starting pitcher Brett Adcock. Adcock allowed four runs on seven hits in five innings. He struck out five and walked three.
The home run came at the perfect time as Sioux City’s bats woke up in the top of the sixth. Back to back singles and a walk loaded the bases with no outs, and L.T. Tolbert got the X’s on the board with a sacrifice fly to left field making it 4-1.
After a single loaded the bases with one out, Seamus Curran hit a line drive to Monarchs second basemen, Ryan Grotjohn who then doubled off the runner at second keeping it a 4-1 game.
Despite collecting ten hits in the game, Sioux City was held to only two runs thanks in part to three double plays turned by Kansas City.
Immediately after the X’s struck to get on the scoreboard, Kansas City took that run back, as Ibandel Isabel led off the bottom of the sixth with a solo home run.
A one-out single from Charcer Burks was followed by a stolen bag and a throwing error to put him at third for Alexis Olmeda to score him on a ground out making it 6-1.
Kansas City finally put the game away for good in the seventh with a five-run rally and the first six Monarchs of the inning reaching.
Guerrero then doubled in a run. Guerrero ended up going 4-for-5 with a home run, a double, three RBIs and two runs scored.
Casey Gillaspie, who also collected three RBIs, doubled to center to drive home a pair.
The rally was capped off by Isabel’s second home run of the night.
The X’s would add a run in the ninth on a Michael Lang base hit to give the game it’s final tally of 11-2.
Matt Hall earned the victory holding the X’s to just a single run over six innings on six hits with four walks and four strikeouts.
While Kansas City gets the win, in the previous two postseason matchups between the two clubs (2018, 2019) the loser of Game 1 has gone on to win the overall series.