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 August 29, 2023

By Dan Vaughan Jr.



KANSAS CITY, Kan. –  The Sioux City Explorers (49-44) came into their series opener with the Kansas City Monarchs (55-38) on an offensive surge, hitting .320 over their last nine games and with19 home runs in the month of August. Tuesday night the X’s got plenty of both in an 8-4 win to lower their magic number to one to claim a post-season spot in the American Association.

Sioux City got back-to-back solo home runs from Scott Ota and John Nogowski in the top of the fourth inning off Kansas City starter Zach Matson (5-4) to take a 2-0 lead. The Explorers would then put up a five-run five-hit inning in the fifth to take a 7-0 lead.

Kyle Kasser and Delvin Zinn each singled to put runners at first and second. Chase Harris put down a sacrifice bunt but would reach base on an error on the throw from third baseman Justin Wylie. The throw sailed down the right side of foul territory, allowing Kasser to race home for a 3-0 lead. Daniel Lingua would drive another run in on a bunt single on the right side of the infield to score Zinn, and the lead was 4-0. Matson would strike out Ota then issue a walk to Nogowski. With the bases loaded, Matt Lloyd would hit a double to left center to drive in two more runs, but the Monarchs would get Nogowski at the plate for the second out of the inning. Wilfredo Gimenez, who was named American Association Batter of the week on Monday, would deliver another RBI double to make it 7-0 in favor of the Explorers.

Solomon Bates would get the start for Sioux City. The right-hander would work 4.1 but leave the game with an apparent injury/discomfort in the fifth after a one-out walk. The Monarchs would scratch out three runs in the inning off Trenton Toplikar. Andy Yerzy would walk, and LJ Hatch would single to get the first run on the board for KC. Toplikar appeared to get Odubel Herrera for the second out on a pop fly to shallow left, but he was ruled to have balked, bringing home the second run of the frame. A fielder’s choice ground ball to second by Herrera got the third run home.

Brandon Brosher would work a scoreless sixth while Max Kuhns (1-0) would work two innings with four strikeouts to pick up the relief win. . Sioux City would get their final run in the sixth on an RBI double from Lingua off Monarchs reliever Jean Correa. Chris Herrmann hit a solo homer for Kansas City in the home half of the eighth to cut the lead to 8-4, but that was as close as the Monarchs would get. Sean Rackoski worked a scoreless ninth to close out the win.

The Explorers win along with a split for Lincoln in their doubleheader with Cleburne lowered the team’s magic number to one. The X’s also increased their lead to two games over Sioux Falls for second with the Canaries losing and the Explorers winning. It was the X’s eighth win against Kansas City this season against just two losses and their third win at Legends Field.

Box Score

The Explorers and Monarchs will play game two of the three-game series Wednesday night, August 30, with a first pitch of 7:00 p.m. in Kansas City, Kansas. Tickets for the season can be purchased online as, in person at the Lewis and Clark Park Box Office or by calling 712-277-WINS. You can catch all the X’s action on and on radio at KSCJ 94.9 FM and 1360 AM with the pregame beginning 30 minutes prior to first pitch.