July 19, 2013 - Pacific Coast League (PCL) - Fresno Grizzlies
Fresno, Calif. - The Fresno Grizzlies rallied from a five-run deficit and defeated the Tacoma Rainiers 8-7 on Thursday at Chukchansi Park. Gary Brown capped the comeback with a solo home run in the eighth inning to give the Grizzlies their first - and only necessary - lead of the game.
The offensive show, which featured 13 extra-base hits among 26 combined base knocks, was highlighted by Roger Kieschnick's three-double performance. The right fielder's third two-base hit of the night was a ground-rule double that scored Nick Noonan and advanced Johnny Monell to third base in the seventh inning. Monell would score on a wild pitch to bring the Grizzlies within one, 7-6, before Chris Dominguez delivered his only hit of the game with an RBI double that scored Kieschnick and tied the game at 7-7.
Brown's roundtripper was his 12th homer of the season but first since June 28th against Salt Lake. The home run did complete the Grizzlies' 24th comeback win of the season.
Although Kieschnick hit three doubles, a two-run double by Noonan in the fifth inning ignited the Fresno rally. Noonan's one-out double scored Brown and Jackson Williams while also setting himself up for an RBI single by Brett Pill two batters later. Pill's 71st RBI of the season made it 6-4 Tacoma.
Kieschnick's first double plated Fresno's first run. Monell, who led off the frame with a walk, scored on Kieschnick's double to center field.
Kieschnick (3-for-3) was one of four Grizzlies who had multiple hits. Brown (2 hits), Noonan (3 hits), and Williams (2 hits) also contributed to Fresno's 13 hits. Noonan added a pair of RBI to go along with his three hits.
Kieschnick is the first Grizzlies hitter to tally three doubles in a game since Ryan Lollis on August 2, 2012 vs. Nashville.
Grizzlies starting pitcher Eric Surkamp did not fare well in fourth career Triple-A start. He allowed six of the seven Tacoma runs over 4 2/3 innings. A wild pitch, a triple, and sacrifice fly scored three runs for the Rainiers in the first inning. In the fifth, a Scott Savastano RBI single and Brandon Bantz run-scoring triple chased Surkamp from the game. Surkamp did strike out six in the no-decision, however.
Fabio Castillo relieved Surkamp in the fifth, allowing one of the inherited runners to score.
Jean Machi tossed a perfect eighth to help him pick up the win while Heath Hembree struck out two in the ninth to tally his team-leading 20th save of the season.
Brett Bochy also threw a perfect inning of relief for Fresno.
Jonathan Arias suffered the loss after allowing Brown's home run. Tacoma starting pitcher Brandon Maurer did not factor into decision. The right-hander surrendered four runs over six innings.
The second game of the four-game series is Friday at 7:05 pm. Right-hander Yusmeiro Petit will take the bump for the Grizzlies and face fellow righty Taijuan Walker.