Grizzlies smash two homers and six doubles, take 9-4 series finale from Isotopes
The Fresno Grizzlies (68-51) inched closer to a Pacific Northern Division title on Sunday at home against the Albuquerque Isotopes (55-64), cruising to a 9-4 win to split the four-game series.
Yordan Alvarez (2-for-3) crushed a two-out solo shot to center in the second inning to open the scoring, his seventh Triple-A home run. The Grizzlies plated three more in a seven-batter third, when Garrett Stubbs ripped a double down the line in right, scoring Alex De Goti (double, 2-for-4) and Myles Straw (single, stolen base). Straw's 58 stolen bases this season lead all of professional baseball, and he's stolen 23 of those bases in 25 attempts in 49 games with the Grizzlies since his promotion on June 16.
It was 4-0 after AJ Reed lined a run-scoring single to right. Reed's 96 RBI lead Triple-A, and with 250 RBI in a Fresno uniform (since 2016), he's fourth in franchise history, and within 10 of Damon Minor (259) for third on the Grizzlies' career list. The score was 5-0 an inning later in the fourth, when Alvarez (walk, error) scored from second on a Taylor Jones (2-for-4) double into the left field corner.
Albuquerque earned a run back in the fifth, on a Jordan Patterson RBI triple into the right field corner. Fresno got it back and then some in the bottom half of the inning, when J.D. Davis sent his ninth Triple-A home run of the season out to left-center, a two-run shot with two out after a Jack Mayfield double.
Matt Holliday hit his second homer with Isotopes, and his second of the series, with two out in the sixth. The two-run shot to left field made it 7-3. Sunday was just the ninth game this season for Holliday, the veteran of 14 MLB seasons.
Fresno starter Josh James (6-4) worked 5.2 innings, scattering just four hits and two walks. The right-hander struck out six, and all there runs were earned. James has struck out 122 this season in just 83.0 innings over 15 starts, despite not making his Triple-A debut until May 10. He's among the top five in the PCL in strikeouts.
Isotopes' starter Peter Lambert (2-4) went five innings, allowing seven runs (six earned) on eight hits. The righty walked one and struck out four.
The Grizzlies scored twice more in the sixth for a 9-3 lead. Jones and De Goti (RBI) hit back-to-back doubles into the left field corner, before De Goti tagged to third base on a fly ball and scored on a double steal with Straw, after Straw walked and stole his second base of the day. Both Jones and De Goti ended their day with two doubles apiece.
In the ninth Albuquerque tacked on one more run, their second RBI triple of the evening, off the bat of Shawn O'Malley.
Reed is on pace for 113 RBI, which would set a new Fresno Grizzlies single-season record. Scott McClain drove in 108 runs for the 2008 Grizz.
This seven-game homestand continues Monday, as the Las Vegas 51s come to town for three games. Probable starters for the series opener are LHP P.J. Conlon (3-7, 7.09) for Las Vegas and LHP Kent Emanuel (4-2, 4.81) for Fresno. The Grizzlies are 21-9 this season in the first game of a series, 11-4 at home.
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