The Fresno Grizzlies impressive 11-game win streak came to an end on Saturday at the hands of the Round Rock Express. The 11-game win streak matches the longest such streak in the Grizzlies franchise history. Despite the loss – only their second of the month – the Grizzlies are 29 games over .500 at 78-49 and their magic number to clinch a playoff spot now sits at three.
The Triple-A club will also welcome back Preston Tucker this week, as he was “demoted” to make room for Lance McCullers. In 25 games and 100 ABs with the Grizzlies to start the season, Tucker hit .320/.378/.650 with 10 HRs and 32 RBIs. Tucker will continue to get his ABs before returning to the Houston Astros when rosters expand on Sep. 1.
The Grizzlies completed a four-game sweep of the New Orleans Zephyrs on Monday and Tuesday, scoring 10 and 14 runs respectively in those games before taking on the Express in a four-game set. The bats stayed hot for the first two games of the series, beating the Texas Ranger’s Triple-A affiliate 7-0 and 6-3 before heading into the weekend.
Thursday’s 6-3 victory marked the return of the Fresno Tacos, as Brett Oberholtzer threw eight innings and allowed only two runs. Jon Singleton also showed off his power, belting a two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning – number 19 for him with Fresno.
On Friday, the Grizzlies managed only two runs but still won 2-1 in the tenth inning on a Singleton sac fly. Mike Hauschild threw seven dominant innings, allowing only one run on five hits and nine strikeouts before the bullpen shut the door on the Express.
The Grizzlies managed only two runs again on Saturday but were unable to pull out another victory. Grizzlies starter Brady Rodgers was pulled in the third inning because of a strained back after allowing one run. The Express were able to tag Luis Cruz for three runs in the top of the fifth inning. The Grizzlies managed two runs in the bottom frame, but that was all the offense for the night as the Express won 4-2.
Mark Appel lasted only 4 2/3 innings on Tuesday, allowing 12 hits and nine runs (six of them earned) while throwing 107 pitches. The rough outing may have punched Appel’s ticket home after Fresno’s season ends. He should have a chance to grow and prove himself, though, as the Grizzlies will have the opportunity to play playoff baseball.
Tyler White brought his batting average over .400 before going hitless in the last two games of the series over the weekend. White is only hitting .389 again; It’s never not fun to point out a slash line like this – .389/.487/.599.
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Matt Duffy recorded six consecutive multi-hit games for the Grizzlies before going hitless on Saturday in two ABs but still worked three walks. The third baseman is hitting .394 in August with a ridiculous .506 OBP.
Over his last nine relief appearances, Tyson Perez has allowed only one earned run on eight hits, lowering his ERA to 2.62 and WHIP to 0.99 on the season.
The Grizzlies play eight games this week (doubleheader in Iowa), before returning home on the 31st for the final week of the season. Playoffs begin for the Grizzlies on Sept. 9.