Astros’ Fresno Report April 24-30: Pitching woes sink Grizzlies

Mar 24, 2017; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; Houston Astros center fielder Derek Fisher (77) connects for a base hit during a spring training game against the New York Mets at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 24, 2017; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; Houston Astros center fielder Derek Fisher (77) connects for a base hit during a spring training game against the New York Mets at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Houston Astros’ Triple-A affiliate Fresno Grizzlies struggled to a 1-5 record this week.

After posting a winning record last week, the Astros’ AAA Fresno Grizzlies went just 1-5 this week. Pitching was the main culprit, as the team gave up eight or more runs in all five losses. The strong crop of position players took a hit as well, with Teoscar Hernandez and Tony Kemp going to the majors.

Stung by the Bees

After splitting the first two games of a four-game home series against the Salt Lake Bees, the Grizzlies fell 12-9 on April 24. Starter Keegan Yuhl coughed up nine runs (eight earned) in four innings. Colin Moran and Tyler White homered, while Moran and A.J. Reed drove in three runs apiece.

Mar 24, 2017; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; Houston Astros shortstop Reid Brignac (28) hits for an RBI single during a spring training game against the New York Mets at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 24, 2017; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; Houston Astros shortstop Reid Brignac (28) hits for an RBI single during a spring training game against the New York Mets at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

The Bees won the series on Tuesday, defeating the Grizzlies 9-7. Starter Edison Frias surrendered five runs on four hits with four walks in five innings. Derek Fisher finished a triple shy of the cycle and Reid Brignac added two hits and three RBIs.

Rough Road

After an off day Wednesday, Fresno opened a four-game road series with an 8-1 loss at Reno on Thursday. Starter Brian Holmes took the loss, giving up three runs in five innings. Fisher and Preston Tucker posted two hits apiece, but the team was 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position.

After trailing 8-1 after seven innings on Friday, the Grizzlies fell short in a comeback attempt, losing 8-7. Starter David Martinez fell to 0-3 on the season, giving up five runs (four earned) in six innings. Reed reached base five times while Fisher recorded two hits including a home run.

Mar 17, 2017; Fort Myers, FL, USA; Houston Astros right fielder Jon Kemmer (75) against the Boston Red Sox at JetBlue Park. The Astros won 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 17, 2017; Fort Myers, FL, USA; Houston Astros right fielder Jon Kemmer (75) against the Boston Red Sox at JetBlue Park. The Astros won 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /

The Grizzlies snapped their four-game skid on Saturday, defeating the Aces 6-2. Jordan Jankowski earned the win in relief of starter Trent Thornton, who gave up one run in six innings in his first start since being called up from Double-A Corpus Christi. Jon Kemmer was 5-for-5 with a solo homer while Max Stassi was 4-for-5 with two RBIs.

Fresno lost the series against Reno in a high-scoring walk off Sunday, falling 11-10. Mike Hauschild, in his first appearance since being returned to the organization, gave up two runs in three innings. Yuhl surrendered five runs in the fourth inning, recording just two outs. Jack Mayfield had four hits including a homer while Kemmer homered and drove in five runs.

Player of the Week: Derek Fisher

In what is a deep, potent Fresno lineup, Fisher stood out this week. He reached base safely in all six of the team’s games, hitting two homers and posting four multi-hit games. He raised his season batting average to .292 and has five homers. Fisher is perhaps setting himself up for a call to Houston later this year.

Next: Joe Musgrove deserved better

What’s Next

The Grizzlies play one more game against Reno on Monday before returning home for four games against Sacramento. They then head to Colorado Springs to start an eight-game road trip. Fresno sits in third place in its division with a 10-14 record.

***Statistics courtesy of MiLB.com***

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