Monarchs blast past the Apollos

A pair of two-run blasts in the bottom of the first was all it took for the Kansas City Monarchs (42-22) to complete a five-game sweep of the Houston Apollos (8-56) 10-6 Thursday at Legends Field in Kansas City, Kansas.

A lead-off walk by Morgan McCullough put a runner on for Ryan Grotjohn to bring home with a big fly to left field from the two-spot in the order.

The next batter – Darnell Sweeney – worked a full-count walk to set Gabby Guerrero up with a runner on for his shot to left-center to push the Monarch lead to four runs before the Apollos had recorded an out.

Kansas City added runs in the second and third on a pair of sacrifice flies to center field by Sweeney and Charcer Burks.

Elroy Urbina earned the win for the Monarchs after replacing starter Jose Taveras at the start of the third due to an apparent injury. He gave up one hit and struck out five across three innings of relief.

Both bullpens took control of the game until the Monarchs found four more in the bottom of the seventh on a three-run home run to left by Casey Gillaspie and an RBI single from Will Kengor.

Guerrero, who started the game at DH and usually plays right field, got a chance on the mound in the top of the ninth. He surrendered five runs in a third of an inning and the Monarchs turned to Jacob Lindgren to finish out the game.

The Monarchs will play the north division’s Chicago Dogs for a three-game series this weekend starting Friday night at Legends Field.

The first pitch tonight is set for 7:05 p.m. and the game can be heard on the Monarchs Broadcast Network with the pre-game beginning at 6:30 p.m. and the video stream airing on

A special promotion Friday is a Monarchs hate giveaway for the first 2,000 fans. There will be pre-game skydivers.

Tickets to Monarchs games can be purchased by calling 913-328-5618 or by visiting

  • by Nathan Enserro

Monarchs’ pitching stifles Apollos

Charcer Burks rounded third after his second home run of the season. (Photo by John Ellis, Monarchs)

The Monarchs remained undefeated against the Houston Apollos after defeating their divisional foe 6-2 on Tuesday night. It was Kansas City’s sixth win over Houston this season.

Following an outing in which he surrendered four runs in five innings, Jake Matthys was in search of his first quality start since July 9. Through the first two innings, the right-hander danced around some trouble and kept the Apollos’ offense scoreless.

In the bottom of the second, Kansas City (39-22) opened up the scoring. Charcer Burks, who led off the inning with a walk, came down to score on a passed ball. A few batters later, Darnell Sweeney drove in his 38th run of the year to make it 2-0.

Matthys, however, struggled to miss bats in the third. In the top half of the frame, Houston (8-53) tagged Matthys for a run on four singles. Fortunately for the Monarchs, the right-hander limited the damage to one run. In the bottom of the inning, Will Kengor knocked an RBI-single up the middle to extend the lead to 3-1. The run driven in gave him eight in the last two days.

Two innings later, Burks clubbed his second home run of the season to deep left field. It was his first home run of the season at Legends Field.

Despite allowing 10 hits, Matthys worked through six innings of two-run ball and struck out six. The quality start was the first from Monarchs’ pitching at home since July 18 against Kane County (Jose Taveras).

Kansas City’s sixth run of the night came off the bat of Gabby Guerrero, who poked an RBI-single and padded the lead back up to three runs. One inning later, the Monarchs’ new lead-off man Morgan McCullough smacked another RBI-single to center field to make it 6-2.

In the final three innings, Dalbert Siri, Brock Gilliam, and Brian Ellington combined to shut down the Apollos.

Wednesday, the Monarchs will take part in a split double header. Game 1 is set for noon and Game 2 is scheduled for 5 p.m. Both games will air on the Monarchs Broadcast Network with the pre-game beginning at 11:35 a.m. in Game 1 and 4:35 p.m. for Game 2, while the video stream will air on at first pitch. Gates will open for Game 1 at 11 a.m. and Game 2 at 4:35 p.m.

Tickets to Monarchs games can be purchased by calling 913-328-5618 or by visiting

by Jack Johnson , Monarchs

Kengor ties RBI record in 15-6 win

Will Kengor drove his first of two home runs on Monday night at the Kansas City Monarchs baseball game at Legends Field, Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by John Ellis, Kansas City Monarchs)

The Kansas City Monarchs (38-22) took home a massive 15-6 win against the Houston Apollos (8-52), courtesy of infielder Will Kengor, who tied a franchise record for the number of RBIs in a game.

The Apollos scored two runs in the top of the second, taking an early lead over Kansas City.

Kengor kicked off the Monarchs’ offense with a three-run homer in the bottom of the second, scoring himself, Gaby Guerrero and Casey Gillaspie.

Houston made its way back to the top of the scoreboard, hitting four runs in the top of the third.

Kansas City answered quickly, with Morgan McCullough hitting a double then running home after a sacrifice fly by Darnell Sweeney, cutting into the Apollos’ lead 6-4 as they headed into the fourth inning.

Justin Donatella (1-0) relieved starting right-handed pitcher Justin Shafer in the top of the fourth. Shafer left after pitching for three innings, recording seven hits, six runs, four earned runs, one walk and five strikeouts.

The Monarchs continued to chip away in the bottom of the fourth, beginning with a double by Gillaspie. After advancing to third after a Colin Willis put out, a wild pitch while Charcer Burks was up to bat allowed Gillaspie to punch in a run, putting Kansas City behind by only one run, 5-6.

Kansas City took the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning, starting with a broken-bat single to left by Guerrero to score McCullough. A single to center field by Willis then scored Grotjohn and Guerrero. The offense didn’t stop there; McCullough hit another single and scored both Willis and Burks.

Righthander Ryan Newell took over the mound in the top of the sixth, relieving winning pitcher Donatella. Donatella pitched for two innings, recorded one hit, and one strikeout.

In the bottom of the eighth, Darnell Sweeney tacked on another run for the Monarchs after Willis advanced to first off a fielder’s choice.

Kengor then hit a three-run home run all the way to the Home Run Hill, tying the franchise record for the number of RBIs (7) in a game.

Basehor, Kansas, native and rookie right-handed pitcher Brock Gilliam stepped on the mound for the top of the ninth, relieving Jacob Lindgren. Gilliam recorded three-straight strikeouts in his pro debut, giving Kansas City the win 15-6.

The Kansas City Monarchs will match up against the Houston Apollos again Tuesday, with the first pitch set for 7 p.m. with the gates opening at 6 p.m. The game can be heard on the Monarchs Broadcast Network with the pre-game beginning at 6:30 p.m. and the video stream airing on

Tickets to Monarchs games can be purchased by calling 913-328-5618 or by visiting

  • by Emerson Peavey, Monarchs