The Houston Astros’ Triple-A affiliate Fresno Grizzlies went on a scoring binge as they romped to a 6-1 record this week, earning a share of the division lead.
It’s an impressive feat when a team hits six homers in a game. The Astros Triple-A Fresno Grizzlies managed to do it three times in a four-game span. They teed off on Las Vegas pitching before returning home and moving into a tie for first place in the PCL Pacific Northern division. After starting the season 20-30, they have gone 39-12 since.
Viva Las Vegas
Fresno opened a four-game series at Las Vegas by blasting six homers in a 22-8 win on July 17. Rogelio Armenteros earned the win despite giving up five runs in five innings. Reid Brignac hit two homers and drove in five runs, while Jon Kemmer had four hits and six RBIs, including a grand slam.
The Grizzlies hit six more homers on Tuesday in a 19-12 victory. Starter Kyle Smith failed to record an out, giving up five runs on five hits and a walk. Derek Fisher had four hits, including two doubles and a homer. Preston Tucker homered, doubled and drove in three runs, while Teoscar Hernandez had three doubles and three RBIs.
The Fresno bats suddenly went cold in a 4-2 loss on Wednesday. Trent Thornton gave up just one run in seven innings, settling for a no-decision. Hernandez hit a two-run homer, while J.D. Davis went 2-for-4 in his first Triple-A game.
The bats came back to life with six more homers as the Grizzlies won the series finale 18-5 on Thursday. Starter Kent Emanuel gave up three runs in five innings to earn his first Triple-A win. A.J. Reed homered twice and drove in five runs while Kemmer also went deep twice. Tucker had five RBIs, finishing a triple shy of the cycle, while Fisher had three singles, three walks, and two RBIs. Tony Kemp went 0-for-5, snapping his 24-game hit streak.
Round Rock and Roll
Fresno opened a four-game home series against Round Rock with a 5-0 win on Friday. Dean Deetz earned the win, tossing 5.1 shutout innings. Tyler White had two hits, including a two-run homer, and a walk. Tucker, Reed, and Kemmer all added solo dingers. The win moved the team into a first-place tie with Reno atop the division.
The Grizzlies held on for an 8-7 win on Saturday. Mike Hauschild went just four innings, giving up one run on four hits and three walks. Reed hit a three-run bomb, while Fisher added three hits and three RBIs. White chipped in with three hits, including a solo homer.
More from Climbing Tal's Hill
- Just how much better is the Houston Astros playoff rotation than the rest?
- Houston Astros: A Lineup Change to Spark Offense
- Astros prospect Hunter Brown throws 6 shutout innings in debut
- Always faithful Astros World Series champion Josh Reddick defends the title
- Michael Conforto declines Astros’ 2-year, $30 million offer
The Fresno offense hit four more homers in an 11-8 victory on Sunday. Armenteros earned the win, giving up four runs (three earned) in 5.2 innings with eight strikeouts. Hernandez and Tucker each hit a two-run homer, while Davis had three hits and two RBIs.
Players of the Week: A.J. Reed, Preston Tucker, Jon Kemmer
Instead of splitting hairs to try and name one player, I’ll give it to these three guys. They each hit five homers this week, helping power the Grizzlies into a tie for first place. Reed hit safely in each of the six games he played, driving in 12 runs. Tucker drove in 13 runs in seven games, scoring 12 times. Kemmer hit safely in all six of his games, adding 11 RBIs and scoring 12 times. This is a deep and powerful Fresno lineup, and all three of these hitters stood above the rest.
Fresno will attempt to finish off a four-game sweep of Round Rock on Monday. They then host New Orleans for four games before hitting the road to face Omaha to close out the month. The Grizzlies sit at 59-42 on the season, tied with Reno for first place in the division.
***Statistics courtesy of MiLB.com***