With two outs in the top of the first inning and Alex Presley at second base, Jon Singleton connected for a two-run home run to centerfield. That was more than enough offense for Dan Straily and the Grizzlies on Wednesday night.
While the Houston Astros received a drubbing at the hands of the Texas Rangers, the Fresno Grizzlies were able to pull even, 1-1, with the Round Rock Express in Game 2 of the PCL Championship Series with a 3-1 victory.
The Grizzlies desperately needed a strong performance from Straily after a 12-inning affair with the Express in Game 1 when the team burned through seven different pitchers. On Wednesday night, the team only needed three pitchers to hold the Express to one hit, including 6 2/3 perfect innings from Straily.
The offense was able to give Straily a bit of insurance in the top frame of the seventh inning. Andrew Aplin drew a walk to start the inning and Robbie Grossman sac-bunted him over to second base. After a Nolan Fontana fly out, Tony Kemp notched a two-out single, his fifth hit in the series already, to score Aplin and push the lead to three.
In the bottom frame of the seventh Straily recorded the first two outs – making it 20 straight to start the game – before surrendering two walks, a single and a run. Nonetheless, it was another dominant start for Straily. In two playoff starts for the Grizzlies now, he has given up one run in 13 innings of work while striking out 10 and allowing only five hits.
Like Colin Moran, Chris Devenski got the call-up from Corpus Christi to join the Grizzlies for the Championship Series. Devenski likely joined the club to give the Grizzlies another bullpen arm after the Tuesday night game. He was thrown into the mix immediately as he replaced Straily in the eighth inning with a two-run lead. Devenski, predominately a starter with the Hooks this season, was excellent in relief as he threw 1 1/3 innings without allowing a hit and striking out two.
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After Devenski had recorded the first out in the ninth inning, the team called upon Kevin Chapman to close out Game 2 after he recorded a scoreless inning in Game 1. Chapman was able to get the last two batters to ground out and seal the victory.
Game 3 of the series will be played on Friday as the series shifts to Fresno and into a best-of-three series. Brett Oberholtzer will get the call for the Grizzlies, followed by Asher Wojciechowski on Saturday night. The Game 5 starter for the Grizzlies (if necessary), will be Mark Appel.