Milkmen, Dogs Have Defensive Battle as Fight For #1 Seed Continues

Milwaukee Milkmen

Monarchs 8, Goldeyes 5 – Boxscore

The Kansas City Monarchs (62-34) erased a 4-2 deficit in a five run sixth inning Wednesday night at Shaw Park, to overtake the Winnipeg Goldeyes (50-46) 8-5 completing a three-game sweep. The win extended the Monarchs winning streak to a season long eight games and was the sixth win this season in Winnipeg in six tries.


The Monarchs would get the game started with a lead off single for Mallex Smith off Goldeyes starter Landen Bourassa followed by another single by Darnell Sweeny. Ryan Grotjohn would single to give the Monarchs a 1-0 lead. The Goldeyes would answer with a solo home run by Max Murphy in the bottom of the first to tie the game off Nick Belzer (6-2) who got the starting nod for the Monarchs. 


The Goldeyes would take the lead on an Ian Sagdal single in the third inning and add two more off Belzer in the fourth. Jacob Rhinesmith would hit a solo home run to left and Winnipeg would grab two more hits in the inning a make it 4-1 on a sacrifice fly from Reggie Pruitt Jr to lead it 4-1.


Kansas City cut the lead to two in the top of the fifth off Bourassa. Kevin Santa singled to start the inning, but the right-hander quickly retired the next two batters. Ryan Grotjohn worked a walk to put runners at first and second. Jacob Robson would deliver an RBI double to make it 4-2 in favor of the Goldeyes.


The big inning for Kansas City came in the top of the sixth. Winnipeg brought in Paul Schwendel out of the pen, and he would give up three straight hits to the Monarchs. J.C. Escarra and Casey Gillaspie both reached with Escarra scoring on an RBI single from Gio Brusa to cut the lead to 4-3. Kevin Santa would then hit into a fielder’s choice to force Brusa at second for the first out. Mallex Smith would work a walk to load the bases for Darnell Sweeney bringing a pitching change for Winnipeg. Lefty Travis Seabrook got the Monarchs third baseman to hit a roller to the right side of the mound that Seabrook would field and elect to throw home instead of on to first. The throw was late as Casey Gillaspie scored to tie the game at four. Ryan Grotjohn then drove in a pair with an RBI single to give the Monarchs the lead at 6-4. Jacob Robson drove in the seventh run on an infield single to make it a 7-4 Monarchs advantage. Erasmo Pinales would come into the game and get the final two outs to slow Kansas City.


Nick Belzer would be done after five innings tossing a final line of 5.0IP, 4R, 4ER, 2BB and 3SO and getting his sixth win this season. The Monarchs then went to the pen in the home half of the sixth with Jeremey Rhoades coming into the game. The Goldeyes would get a leadoff double from Michael Crouse, but Rhoads retired the next three batters to preserve the lead of 7-4 after six.


Left-hander Jordan Martinson would come into the game in the bottom of the seventh after the Monarchs failed to score in the top of the frame. Winnipeg would pick up an unearned run on a lead off walk by Reggie Pruitt Jr followed by a fielder’s choice that moved the runner to second. Pruitt Jr then moved to third on a stolen base with two outs. Ian Sagdal would walk to put runners at the corners. Sadgal would get caught in a run-down allowing Pruitt Jr to score with the Monarchs throw home wide of the plate to cut the lead to 7-5.


The Monarchs would buy the insurance policy in the top of the ninth. Casey Gillaspie and Gio Brusa drew walks off reliever Tasker Strobel to put two aboard for Kevin Santa. The Monarchs shortstop delivered an RBI double to make it 8-5 Kansas City.


In the bottom of the ninth Alex Valdez would be summoned into the game for the Monarchs allow a single to Raul Navarro but pick up the first out when Ian Sagdal forced Navarro out at second on a fielder’s choice. Max Murphy would single but Valdez got David Washington to fly to shallow center and struck out Michael Crouse to end the game. 


Cougars 6, Railcats 3 – Boxscore


The Gary SouthShore RailCats could not silence the Kane County Cougars power bats as their three home runs led them to a 6-3 win. 


The RailCats offense propelled them to an early lead as they jumped out in front in the bottom of the second inning.  On his first swing of the ballgame, Victor Nova launched a solo home run to put the ‘Cats ahead 1-0. 


The very next inning, the RailCats got back to work at the plate to extend their advantage.  Jackson Smith drew a walk before Michael Woodworth and Daniel Lingua notched base hits to load the bases, and LG Castillo‘s fly ball to the warning track in left field plated another run to give Gary SouthShore a 2-0 advantage. 


Once the game reached the middle innings, though, the Cougars kicked their bats into gear.  An error with runners on first and second base allowed them to make their way onto the scoreboard, but after placing two runners in scoring position, starting pitcher Chris Erwin clutched up to preserve the RailCats edge.  He fanned the next batter he faced to keep Gary SoutnShore in front 2-1. 


Kane County brought their home run swings with them into the top of the fifth to grab their first lead.  A two-out, three-run home run propelled them past the ‘Cats as they went up 4-2. 

They continued to add on in their next turn at bat in the sixth.  A leadoff home run tacked on their first run, and a two-out single with a runner on second base gave them a three-run buffer shortly thereafter. 


Though the Cougars continued to threaten at the dish, the RailCats bullpen stepped up to maintain their deficit at four.  Aaron Phillips came out of the bullpen to toss 1.1 scoreless innings while Joel Huertas and Yeison Medina followed suit in the eighth and ninth. 


Down to their final three outs, Sam Abbott struck back in historic fashion to bring the ‘Cats back within three.  He clubbed his 19th home run of the season, a towering one-out blast off the batter’s eye in center field, to pull level with Cristian Guerrero for the franchise single-season record. 


However, that was all the RailCats could muster.  The Cougars bullpen secured the final two outs to grab the victory. 


Saltdogs 10, Canaries 4 – Boxscore


Hunter Clanin had a double, homer and season-high four RBIs, and the ‘Dogs beat the Sioux Falls Canaries 10-4 at Sioux Falls Stadium on Wednesday night.


The ‘Dogs (45-50) broke things open with a six-run 1st inning. Ryan Long hit a two-run triple before Luke Roskam hit an RBI single. Clanin then hit a three-run homer to give the ‘Dogs a 6-0 lead after one inning.


Lincoln scored three more in the 3rd. Clanin’s fourth RBI came on a double, and Skyler Weber followed with an RBI double of his own. Justin Byrd later added a sacrifice fly to make it 9-0 through two-and-a-half-innings.


The Canaries (32-63) scored twice in the 3rd inning. Ozzie Martinez hit a sacrifice fly before Jabari Henry’s RBI single made it 9-2.


Drew Devine tripled in Lincoln’s 10th run in the 8th inning before the Canaries responded with an RBI groundout from Aaron Takacs and an RBI single from Connor Blair.


Nic Laio made a spot start on a bullpen day for the ‘Dogs. Laio allowed two runs on three hits across three innings in his first Saltdogs start. Zach St. Pierre got his first professional win after allowing just two runs over five innings in long relief, and Carter Hope recorded the final three outs in the 9th.


The Saltdogs have won four consecutive games for the first time since winning a season-best five straight from May 26-29.


RedHawks 11, Explorers 10 – Boxscore


The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks scored three times in the ninth inning to take a wild barn burner of a game from the Sioux City Explorers 11-10 to force a rubber game. 


After both starting pitchers set down the first six batters the bats awoke in the third. 


Fargo put together a four run rally in the top half of the third. Loading the bases with one out Manuel Boscan drove in the games first run by reaching on a fielder’s choice. A Drew Ward RBI single set the table for a two-run double from Leobaldo Pina to give Fargo a 4-0 lead. 


The X’s answered back immediately in the bottom of the third with a two-out rally. Danry Vasquez and Trey Martin both drove in runs with RBI singles and were both on base when Gabe Snyder crushed a three-run homer over the centerfield fence to suddenly hand Sioux City a 5-4 lead. 


Sioux City retained the lead until the top of the fifth. Ward drove in Boscan with a double to tie it. John Silviano broke the tie with a two run homer to left, handing the Hawks a 7-5 lead. 

In the sixth Sioux City tied the ball game up with a pair of runs. Chase Harris cut the deficit to one with a sacrifice fly to center field and Blake Tiberi tied it on a base hit to center. A double play quickly ended the Sioux City threat. 


Once again in the seventh Fargo and Sioux City traded the lead and runs. A Pina single with two outs in the top half of the inning regained the lead for the RedHawks 8-7. Sioux City got RBI singles from Ademar Rifaela and former RedHawk Dylan Kelly to take a 9-8 lead. But a larger rally was once again cut short by a double play. 


In the eighth the X’s padded their lead. Tiberi singled to lead off the inning. Danny Amaral bunted for a single, the throw towards first was high, creating an error that allowed Tiberi to score from first and giving Sioux City a 10-8 advantage. 


Amaral on the play advanced to second and later in the inning stole third base. It was his league leading 46th stolen base of the season. The stolen bag broke the single season franchise record that had previously been held by Michael Lang (45, 2015). 

Amaral however was stranded at third to end the inning keeping Sioux City’s lead at just two runs, 10-8. 


In the top of the ninth, a lead off single and a walk set the table for Peter Maris who crushed the first pitch he saw deep down the right field line for a three run homer, giving Fargo the lead 11-10. It was Maris’ fifth home run against Sioux City this season. 


In the bottom of the ninth Alex Dubord (23) collected the save to finish off the win for Fargo. The loss was handed to the X’s Thomas McIlraith (5-5) who pitched the ninth. The win went to the RedHawks Luke Lind (7-3) who tossed an inning and two-thirds of relief. 


With the loss coupled by a Lincoln Saltdogs victory over Sioux Falls, the Explorers magic number remains at 4 and they are two games up on Lincoln for the final wild card spot in the West Division. 


DockHounds 1, Railroaders 5 – Boxscore


The Lake Country DockHounds (34-61) continue to struggle to beat the heat down in Cleburne as they’re defeated again by the Cleburne Railroaders (45-50).


Two hits off a no-hitter, Kody Bullard pitched quite the game for the Railroaders as he also only let up one run for the DockHounds in the top of the 6th when Tristen Carranza hit an RBI single. 


The Railroaders got to work early when in the bottom of the 2nd inning Mitch Ghelfi knocked in one run and an extra run score on an error by the DockHounds first baseman T.J. Bennett. They scored again in the bottom of the 3rd on a sacrifice fly from Zach Nehrir and two more times in the 8th to further secure their win.


With a win last night, Cleburne clinched a playoff spot in the East Division of the American Association. 


Dogs 1, Milkmen 2 – Boxscore


In what turned out to be a pitching battle, the Milwaukee Milkmen (51-44) defeated the Chicago Dogs (52-43) in a very close game with some serious playoff implications. 


The only run for the Dogs was scored in the 7th inning on a sacrifice fly from Connor Kopach. 


The Milkmen scored once in the bottom of the 5th from a Carl Chester RBI single to center field and again in the bottom of the 8th following a Logan Trowbridge single to center.


Both pitching staffs let up low single digit hits and as the score shows, low single digit runs. This defensive battle continues on Thursday for the American Association’s Facebook Game Of The Week as these teams duke it out for first place in the East Division.


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