Fresno Report Aug 7-13: Grizzlies lose, regain first place

HOUSTON, TX - AUGUST 04: Tyler White
HOUSTON, TX - AUGUST 04: Tyler White /

The Houston Astros’ Triple-A affiliate Fresno Grizzlies had an up-and-down week, losing and then regaining first place.

Following a 2-4 run last week, the Astros‘ Triple-A found itself clinging to a one-game lead in the division. Three straight losses to start this week saw them cede their position to rival Reno. The tables then turned as Fresno won three in a row as Reno lost four straight. The Grizzlies have five more games before starting a critical series against the Aces.

Falling Out

Fresno opened the week with its fourth straight loss, falling 14-9 to El Paso on Aug. 7. Starter Trent Thornton gave up seven runs in four innings of work. Preston Tucker hit a solo homer and walked twice, while Jon Kemmer and Jack Mayfield had a single, double and RBI apiece.

The Grizzlies fell again on Tuesday, losing 7-5 to El Paso. Starter Kent Emanuel gave up four runs on 10 hits in six innings. A.J. Reed hit a solo homer and a double, Tony Kemp had a triple and an RBI, and Mayfield drove in two.

Fresno lost its sixth game in a row, a 5-3 decision on Wednesday. Starter Dean Deetz gave up four runs (three earned) in just two innings. Mayfield, Kemp and Reed each hit solo homers. The team managed a total of five hits.

Back on Track

The Grizzlies snapped their skid and avoided a four-game sweep, winning 8-4 on Thursday. Mike Hauschild earned the win, giving up three runs on eight hits in 5.2 innings. Reed had three hits, including a solo homer, while Tucker had two hits and a solo shot. Of the team’s 16 hits, 13 were singles.

Following a rainout on Friday, Fresno won the first game of a doubleheader 2-1 in seven innings on Saturday. Starter Rogelio Armenteros struck out 10 in five innings, surrendering just one run. Tyler White had two hits, including a two-run homer.

The Grizzlies swept the doubleheader at Albuquerque with a 5-3 win in seven innings. Starter David Martinez gave up three runs on eight hits in 4.1 innings. Kemp had three hits, including a double, while Garrett Stubbs had two hits and three RBIs.

Fresno had a rough day on Sunday, losing 22-1 in the third game of the series. Thornton gave up seven runs on 12 hits in four innings. Andrew Thome, Kevin Comer and outfielder Alejandro Garcia combined to give up 14 runs in two innings. Drew Ferguson had two hits, including a double, while Mayfield drove in the team’s lone run.

Player of the Week: Jack Mayfield

No one had a transcendent week that’s been seemingly typical of this Fresno offense in 2017. Mayfield gets the nod for his improved play, hitting .320 over the week with a homer and five RBIs. The solid week raised his season average to .281.

Mayfield’s value also comes from his versatility. He’s played all over the infield, helping ease the sting of the losses of other players to injury or call-ups. After starting the year in Corpus Christi, Mayfield has proven himself worthy of a spot at the Triple-A level.

Next: Astros in Fantasy: Week 19

What’s Next

Fresno will attempt to take three of four from Albuquerque by winning the series finale on Monday. They will then return home for four games against Las Vegas beginning on Tuesday. Then comes a critical four-game road series against Reno beginning on Saturday. The Grizzlies sit at 69-52 on the season, one game ahead of Reno in the PCL Pacific Northern Division.

***Statistics courtesy of***