Grizzlies Offense Erupts in 10-1 Win over Tucson
Fresno, Calif. - The Fresno Grizzlies offense, specifically the first five batters in the lineup, flexed their muscles in a 10-1 series-opening win over the Tucson Padres on Monday at Chukchansi Park.
Gary Brown, Nick Noonan, Francisco Peguero, Roger Kieschnick and Hector Sanchez, the Grizzlies' first through fifth hitters in the lineup, combined for 13 of Fresno's 16 hits while driving in all 10 runs. Sanchez had a game-high four RBI and Brown paced the Grizzlies with four hits, his first four-hit game since July 1, 2012.
Brown and Noonan wasted little time for the Grizzlies as Brown led off the game with a single and was plated by Noonan's double to make it 1-0 Fresno. Kieschnick later followed with his own RBI double while Sanchez recorded an RBI single to give the Grizzlies' an early 3-0 lead.
Noonan also had an RBI single to the right-center field gap in the second inning to score Kensuke Tanaka. Tanaka, batting in the eight hole of the lineup for the first time this season, finished the game going 2-for-3 with a walk and run scored.
In the third, Sanchez delivered a no-doubt two-run home run well onto the concourse in right field to make it 6-0 Grizzlies. It was Sanchez's first home run in the 2013 season. He drove in his fourth run of the night with a sacrifice fly to plate Brown in the sixth inning.
In the eighth, Brown hit his fourth home run of the season, a solo shot to left field that increased the Grizzlies' lead to 9-1. Brown scored a career-high four runs in the game, falling one short of matching Fresno's franchise record for runs in a game.
Noonan went 3-for-5 with a double and two RBI, and Kieschnick went 2-for-4 with both a pair of RBI and runs scored.
Peguero, meanwhile, went 1-for-3 with an RBI, but in the sixth inning, he was hit by a pitch on the crown of his helmet. The left fielder was on the ground near home plate for over a minute before being assisted off the field. Cole Gillespie replaced Peguero in the game.
Lost in the Grizzlies offensive show was a strong pitching performance by a trio of Fresno pitchers. Starter Austin Fleet struck out six and allowed just one run, but he did not last longer than the fourth inning as he threw 96 pitches. Steve Edlefsen relieved Fleet in the fifth and tossed two shutout innings to help earn the winning decision. Sandy Rosario added three perfect frames, striking out two, to pick up his fourth save of the season.
Brandon Kloess suffered the loss for Tucson after he allowed seven runs (six earned) on 10 hits in four innings pitched.
The Grizzlies and Padres will meet for game two of the scheduled four-game series on Tuesday at 7:05 pm. Right-hander Boof Bonser of the Grizzlies will face lefty Robbie Erlin of Tucson.
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