Astros Fresno Report July 24-30: Grizzlies move into first place

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 17: Teoscar Hernandez #35 of the Houston Astros takes a swing during an at-bat in a game against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on September 17, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. The Astros won the game 2-1. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 17: Teoscar Hernandez #35 of the Houston Astros takes a swing during an at-bat in a game against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on September 17, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. The Astros won the game 2-1. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images) /
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The Houston Astros’ Triple-A affiliate Fresno Grizzlies moved into sole possession of first place this week.

The hot streak continues for Fresno. The Astros AAA team Grizzlies posted a 5-2 record this week, moving into sole possession of first place in their division. This week was marked by solid pitching paired with timely hitting, which is always a recipe for success.

Dropping the Broom

The Grizzlies dropped a chance for a sweep, losing 7-5 against Round Rock on July 24. Starter David Martinez took the loss, giving up six runs (four earned) in 5.2 innings with seven strikeouts. Tony Kemp had three hits and a walk, while J.D. Davis hit his first Triple-A homer.

Picking It Back Up

HOUSTON, TX – MAY 23: Juan Centeno #30 of the Houston Astros hits a home run in the fourth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Minute Maid Park on May 23, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX – MAY 23: Juan Centeno #30 of the Houston Astros hits a home run in the fourth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Minute Maid Park on May 23, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

Fresno opened a four-game home set against New Orleans with a 10-3 win on Tuesday. Trent Thornton gave up three runs (two earned) in 6.2 innings, settling for a no-decision. Davis homered twice, including a grand slam, while Jack Mayfield doubled, homered and drove in three. Juan Centeno went 3-for-3 with a walk.

The Grizzlies scored three in the bottom of the eighth to pull out a 6-4 win on Wednesday. Starter Kent Emanuel struggled, giving up four runs on seven hits in 4.2 innings. Mayfield hit the go-ahead two-run homer, while Kemp also went deep. Davis doubled and drove in two runs.

A six-run fifth inning propelled Fresno to an 8-5 victory on Thursday. Starter Dean Deetz gave up four runs on three hits with four walks in 3.1 innings. Centeno was 3-for-3 with a walk and two RBIs, while Preston Tucker walked four times and drove in a run. The team had six hits — all singles — and 12 walks in the game.

The Grizzlies completed the sweep with a 4-2 win on Friday. Mike Hauschild was dominant, allowing one run on just one hit and one walk in six innings. A.J. Reed had three hits, including a homer, and two RBIs, while Mayfield and Max Stassi also went deep.

Back on the Road

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – APRIL 10: Preston Tucker #20 of Houston Astros rounds the bases after hitting a home run in the fifth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on April 10, 2016 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – APRIL 10: Preston Tucker #20 of Houston Astros rounds the bases after hitting a home run in the fifth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on April 10, 2016 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Fresno opened a four-game series at Omaha with a 5-0 win on Saturday. Rogelio Armenteros tossed 5.2 shutout innings with nine strikeouts, improving to 5-0 on the season. Tucker had two hits, including a solo blast, and two walks, while Teoscar Hernandez had three hits and an RBI. Jon Kemmer added two hits and two walks.

The Grizzlies dropped the second game of the series 5-2 on Sunday. Martinez took the loss, giving up four runs in five innings. Davis hit a two-run homer and drew a walk. The offense managed just three hits and three walks for the entire game.

Player of the Week: J.D. Davis

In what was a quiet week for the Fresno offense, Davis made his presence known. He hit four homers this week — his first four at the Triple-A level — and drove in 12 runs in seven games this week. He also drew four walks, though he struck out nine times. Still, he was clearly the team’s biggest run producer this week, making up for the absences of Colin Moran, Tyler White and Derek Fisher.

Next: Astros in Fantasy: Best and Worst Performances — Week 17

What’s Next

The Grizzlies finish off the four-game series at Omaha on Monday and Tuesday. Following an off-day Wednesday, they open a four-game set at Iowa. Fresno sits at 64-44 on the season, one game ahead of second-place Reno.

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