Astros Minor League Recap June 18-24: Fresno maintains edge

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - MARCH 06: Kyle Tucker #79 of the Houston Astros reacts after hitting a home run against the New York Mets during the seventh inning of a spring training game at First Data Field on March 6, 2018 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. The Mets defeated the Astros 9-5. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - MARCH 06: Kyle Tucker #79 of the Houston Astros reacts after hitting a home run against the New York Mets during the seventh inning of a spring training game at First Data Field on March 6, 2018 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. The Mets defeated the Astros 9-5. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
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The Houston Astros‘ Triple-A affiliate Fresno Grizzlies posted another strong week, maintaining their comfortable division lead.

For the second consecutive week, the Fresno Grizzlies posted a 4-2 record. They’ve maintained their 6.5-game division lead thanks to continued strong pitching and timely hitting. Everyone’s favorite top outfield prospect is red hot, igniting speculation as to when he’ll receive a call to the big leagues.

Kings of the Rock

After winning the first two games of the series at Round Rock, Fresno took game three by a 9-3 score on June 18. Josh James continued his dominance, allowing one run in six innings. Myles Straw went 3-for-5 with an RBI and two steals, while A.J. Reed blasted a two-run homer.

The Grizzlies completed the sweep with a 5-3 win on Tuesday. Brock Dykxhoorn worked seven innings of two-run ball, striking out eight. Kyle Tucker had three hits and a walk, while Antonio Nunez added a two-run double.

Split Decision

Following an off day Wednesday, Fresno opened a four-game home series with an 8-0 win against Albuquerque on Thursday. Cy Sneed was brilliant, tossing a two-hit, complete-game shutout with 11 strikeouts. Tucker had three hits, including a homer, with two RBIs and a stolen base. Reed drove in three runs, and Tim Federowicz added a two-run dinger.

The Grizzlies dropped game two by a 7-5 score on Friday. Mike Hauschild lasted just two innings, surrendering six runs on eight hits. Jon Kemmer launched a three-run homer. Tucker and Reed each went 3-for-5.

Fresno dropped the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader 3-2 in seven innings. Trent Thornton took the loss, giving up three runs in six innings. Jack Mayfield went 2-for-3 with an RBI, while Straw notched two hits and a walk.

The Grizzlies salvaged a split, winning 2-1 in seven innings in the second half of the doubleheader. Tucker had two hits, including the walk-off single in the seventh. Rogelio Armenteros went six strong innings, allowing one run on one hit with nine strikeouts. The team did not play on Sunday.

Players of the Week: Cy Sneed and Kyle Tucker

Tough call this week, and both players deserve to be recognized. Sneed, of course, authored an absolute gem on Thursday. He allowed just two hits and two walks in nine scoreless innings, fanning 11 batters. This was the first complete-game shutout of his professional career.

Tucker has been on an absolute tear lately. He notched three hits in four consecutive games this week. He’s batting .500 over his last 10 games, raising his season average to .314. The lefty swinger is also hitting southpaws at a remarkable .327/.393/.655 clip.

Next: Astros AM Breakdown: The Yuli Gurriel Game

What’s Next

The Grizzlies begin a nine-game road trip on Monday as they open a four-game series at El Paso. Then they’ll play five games at Sacramento beginning Friday. Fresno sits at 46-29 on the season, 6.5 games ahead of second-place Tacoma.

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