Astros’ Fresno Report May 29 – June 4: Grizzlies turn things around

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 snapped out of a long funk this week, going 5-1.

After posting five consecutive losing weeks, the Fresno Grizzlies broke through in a big way this week. They won two straight series, including one against the formerly first-place Tacoma Rainiers. The pitching was much improved overall, and the offense continues to be potent. Perhaps this will prove to be a turning point in the season for the Astros’ Triple-A affiliate.

Breaking Through

After splitting the first two games of the series, Fresno won game three against Albuquerque 10-3 on May 29. Starter Trent Thornton earned the win, giving up one run in six innings. Derek Fisher reached base five times, including hitting a three-run homer. A.J. Reed homered and drove in three runs, while Colin Moran and Teoscar Hernandez had three hits apiece.

The Grizzlies notched their first series win since April 18-21 with an 8-2 victory on Tuesday. Mike Hauschild earned his first win of the season, giving up two runs in six innings. Preston Tucker homered twice, and Tony Kemp finished a home run shy of the cycle. Fisher also added a two-run homer.

Staying Hot

Following a day off Wednesday, Fresno opened a four-game home series against Tacoma with a 12-9 win on Thursday. Francis Martes struggled, giving up seven runs (four earned) on six hits and four walks in 2.2 innings. Juan Centeno went 3-for-4 with a homer and four RBIs while Fisher had two hits, including a two-run homer. In his first game since being called up from Double-A, Alejandro Garcia went 3-for-4.

The Grizzlies won their fifth straight game with a 4-1 victory on Friday. Casey Coleman gave up one run in six innings with seven strikeouts. Reid Brignac and Jon Kemmer homered while Fisher posted another two-hit game.

Preston Tucker hit a walk-off single to lead Fresno to a 3-2 win on Saturday. David Martinez gave up just one run in 6.2 innings. Fisher went 2-for-4 with two RBIs. The win guaranteed the team its second consecutive series win.

The Grizzlies could not complete the sweep, however, falling 9-5 on Sunday. In his first career Triple-A start, Dean Deetz coughed up seven runs on nine hits in 2.1 innings. The offense managed just one extra-base hit, and no one had a multi-hit game. Fisher went 0-for-4 with a walk, snapping his nine-game hit streak.

Player of the Week: Derek Fisher

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Fisher is simply tearing the cover off the ball. Despite snapping his hit streak on Sunday, he has reached base safely in 17 straight games. In the six games this week, he had ten hits, three homers, and nine RBIs.

Overall, he’s hitting .338 with 14 homers, 16 doubles and 39 RBIs in 53 games this season. There’s little doubt he’s ready for the majors, but until there’s an opening for him in Houston, he will remain the centerpiece of Fresno’s lineup.

Next: Astros in Fantasy: Best and Worst Performances – Week Nine

What’s Next

The Grizzlies hit the road for an 11-game road trip starting Monday. They play four games at Sacramento and three games at El Paso. The team sits at 26-31 on the season, nine games behind first-place Reno.

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

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