Houston Astros Affiliate Rocks Another Angels Pitcher
By Jason Burke
The Houston Astros put together a solid game behind Collin McHugh on Wednesday night, and in Triple-A, their affiliate the Fresno Grizzlies made sure that Angels’ top prospect Andrew Heaney made his dinner reservations. Heaney was acquired by the Angels from the Marlins (with about a two hour layover as a Dodger) and followed up his seven inning, two-hit performance against Sacramento with two-thirds of an inning against Fresno. In that 2/3, Heaney allowed seven runs (four earned) on six hits, a walk and a strikeout.
The damage was done by Fresno on a slew of consecutive singles, with the runners going from first to third each time, exactly how the Angels were successful in the early 2000s. Jon Singleton (strikeout) and Preston Tucker (fly out to center) were the only two batters retired the first time through the Grizzly order, with Joe Sclafani and L.J. Hoes reaching base twice in the first before Singleton popped out to end the monstrous inning.
Fresno would hold that 7-0 lead until the top of the seventh, when the Bees would put up a three spot after starter Jake Buchanan would allow a walk to leadoff hitter Daniel Robertson, and then plunk utility man Grant Green.
Buchanan would go seven full, giving up those three runs on four hits and a walk, while striking out four.
The Grizzlies would tack on one more run in the bottom of the 8th on a Matt Duffy single that would score L.J. Hoes, extending their lead to 8-3 entering the ninth.
The ninth is where the offensive fireworks came for Salt Lake. Righty James Hoyt came on to close out the game for Fresno, but would fail to retire any of the five batters he faced, allowing three consecutive singles, a double and a walk. Kevin Chapman would come in to record all three outs in the inning, leaving the game tied.
The Grizzlies mustered a Ronald Torreyes infield single, but nothing more in the bottom half, leading to the first extra innings game of the season for Fresno.
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In the bottom of the eleventh Duffy would lead off with a double, leading Salt Lake pitcher Ryan Mattheus to intentionally walk Preston Tucker. With runners on first and second, Matt Dominguez came to the plate looking to lay down a sacrifice bunt, which he did down the third base line. Even with Dominguez jogging to first, Bees third baseman Kyle Kubitza airmailed the throw, allowing pinch-runner Nolan Fontana to score from second.
It was a game of ups, downs, and one crazy finish.
Game Notes: Kevin Chapman earned the win, pitching three innings of two-hit ball while recording six strikeouts. The Grizzlies would strike out twelve as a team.
Three separate Grizzlies would strike out three times in Wednesday’s game. Joe Sclafani, Jon Singleton and Max Stassi all earned a Hat Trick.
Matt Duffy finished the night 5-for-6, raising his average to .370 through the team’s first seven games.
Joe Sclafani has now reached base safely in 49 straight games, dating back to last July 4th.
Torreyes fielded a ball left of second and threw the runner out at first from his knees, showing his fantastic arm strength at shortstop.
The paid attendance for Wednesday’s game was 3,620.