Freed's Grand Slam Propels Giants to Seventh Straight Win
Harrison Freed hit a tiebreaking grand slam in the top of the ninth inning to propel the Giants to a 12-8 victory over the Fresno Grizzlies on Wednesday night at Chukchansi Park. The top two teams in the Low-A West went back-and-forth throughout the contest before Freed's blast put San Jose ahead for good. The win was the Giants' (74-42) second straight to open the series and season-high tying seventh in a row overall. San Jose also moved to within a half-game of Fresno (72-39) for first place in the North Division with four to play in the regular season.
Wednesday's seesaw affair began with a three-run bottom of the first as the Grizzlies jumped out early against Giants starter Prelander Berroa. A bases loaded walk with two outs to Colin Simpson opened the scoring before Mateo Gil grounded a single into left plating two more for a 3-0 Fresno advantage. San Jose though immediately answered with three runs of their own in the top of the second to tie the score. Yorlis Rodriguez led off with a single before Rodolfo Bone singled. Both players would eventually come home when Edison Mora singled into shallow right while Grant McCray's RBI double into the right center gap tied the game 3-3.
The Grizzlies went back ahead with a single tally in the bottom of the third to chase Berroa. A single and a walk put runners on first and second with two outs before Gil's RBI single gave Fresno a 4-3 lead. Haydn King entered from the bullpen and would record the final out of the inning before tossing a scoreless bottom of the fourth. The Grizzlies though would add to their in the bottom of the fifth against King as Trevor Boone's two-out RBI single stretched the advantage to 5-3.
The Giants then mounted their second comeback of the night as Luis Matos launched a towering solo home run to left to begin the top of the sixth trimming the Fresno lead to 5-4. The round-tripper was Matos' 15th of the season.
After King kept the Grizzlies off the board in the bottom of the sixth, San Jose produced a two-out, four-run rally in the top of the seventh to take their first lead of the evening. The first two batters of the seventh were retired before consecutive walks to Jimmy Glowenke and Abdiel Layer put the potential tying and go-ahead runs on base. Patrick Bailey was up next and he smacked a double to deep right center easily scoring both runners putting the Giants ahead by a 6-5 margin. Consecutive RBI singles from Matos and Yorlis Rodriguez followed to make it 8-5.
The bottom of the seventh then saw Fresno stage their own comeback as a three-run inning tied the game once more at 8-8. With Abel Adames on the mound, Julio Carreras led off with a single and Simpson then doubled to put runners on second and third. Gil followed with a single into left to drive home both for his fourth and fifth RBI's of the game. Brooks Crawford was then summoned and he promptly fanned Boone for the first out of the inning. A Bladimir Restituyo groundout though moved Gil to second before Eddy Diaz lined an RBI single into center to bring the Grizzlies even.
Neither team scored in the eighth with Crawford tossing a 1-2-3 bottom half to keep the game deadlocked. Freed then provided the heroics in the top of the ninth to ultimately carry the Giants to victory. With Robinson Hernandez, the league leader in saves, on the mound for Fresno, three straight full-count walks to Bailey, Matos and Rodriguez to start the inning loaded the bases. Freed was up next and he ripped a 2-1 pitch from Hernandez down the left field line that sailed over the fence for a dramatic grand slam. The home run was Freed's eighth this season and it gave San Jose a 12-8 lead.
Cole Waites worked a scoreless bottom of the ninth for the Giants to seal the victory. Waites gave up a leadoff infield single to Carreras, but came back with three straight strikeouts of Simpson, Gil and Boone to finish the game.
Harrison Freed's grand slam was the Giants' only hit in their decisive four-run, ninth-inning rally. It was the third grand slam hit by a San Jose player this season (Brett Auerbach & Jimmy Glowenke). Two of the three grand slams (Freed, Glowenke) have been hit off of Fresno's Robinson Hernandez in the ninth inning of games at Chukchansi Park. Glowenke's slam off Hernandez tied the score on August 6 in a 6-5 Giants victory.
Seven In A Row
The Giants have scored 72 runs during their current seven-game winning streak (10.3 runs per game). It matches San Jose's longest win streak of the season. The Giants also won seven in a row from July 13-20. San Jose is also now a season-high 32 games over .500.
Inside The Box Score
Fresno out-hit the Giants by a 13-12 margin. Every player in the San Jose starting lineup had at least one hit. Both teams had success with runners in scoring position as the Giants went 6-for-12 and the Grizzlies finished 5-for-10. Luis Matos (2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI), Yorlis Rodriguez (2-for-4, RBI) and Rodolfo Bone (2-for-5) had multi-hit games for San Jose while Patrick Bailey (1-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI) and Edison Mora (1-for-4, 2 RBI) drove in two runs each. Grant McCray (1-for-5, 2B, RBI) extended his hitting streak to 10 games.
Fresno was 0-for-4 attempting to steal on Wednesday with catcher Rodolfo Bone throwing out three attempted base stealers at second (the other was picked-off by pitcher Haydn King). Fresno leads Low-A West with 217 stolen bases this season, but is now 0-for-5 in steal attempts this series.
The Giants improved to 20 games over .500 on the road this season at 38-18. San Jose is now 8-6 at Chukchansi Park.
In The 'Pen
Brooks Crawford (6-1) was credited with the win after tossing two scoreless innings over the seventh and eighth. Crawford gave up one hit, walked none and struck out two. Cole Waites (1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 SO) allowed his first hit with the Giants this season before striking out three straight to end the game. In 9 1/3 innings overall for San Jose, Waites has surrendered one hit and one run with a whopping 22 strikeouts. Haydn King pitched a season-high 3 1/3 innings in long relief with one run allowed and three strikeouts.
Pitcher Wil Jensen was placed on the injured list before the game on Wednesday.
The Giants and Grizzlies continue their series on Thursday evening with first pitch at Chukchansi Park set for 6:50 PM. Carson Ragsdale is San Jose's scheduled starting pitcher.
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Low-A West League Stories from September 16, 2021
- Storm Take Advantage of 14 Walks, Smoke 66ers 17-3 - Inland Empire 66ers
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