Astros Minor League Recap July 2-8: Fresno rights the ship

HOUSTON, TX - JULY 05: A.J. Reed #23 of the Houston Astros hits a home run in the fourth inning against the Seattle Mariners at Minute Maid Park on July 5, 2016 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - JULY 05: A.J. Reed #23 of the Houston Astros hits a home run in the fourth inning against the Seattle Mariners at Minute Maid Park on July 5, 2016 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

The Houston Astros‘ Triple-A affiliate Fresno Grizzlies rebounded to post a 4-3 record this week despite losing several key players.

After a rough stretch last week, the Fresno Grizzlies regrouped to post a winning week despite some major roster changes. Outfielder Jon Kemmer and reliever James Hoyt were traded. Outfielder Kyle Tucker was called up to the majors. Top prospect Yordan Alvarez joined the team, as did Jake Marisnick. Alvarez made his first three appearances, going a combined 1-for-11.

Salvaging Sacramento

After dropping two of the first three games in Sacramento, Fresno lost again on July 2 by a 4-3 margin in 10 innings. Starter Brock Dykxhoorn pitched seven strong innings, allowing just one run. The bullpen gave up the tying run in the bottom of the ninth and then a walk-off two-run homer in the 10th. Jon Kemmer and J.D. Davis each hit solo home runs.

The Grizzlies won the series finale on Tuesday by a score of 5-0. Cy Sneed earned his eighth win of the season, tossing 6.1 scoreless innings with seven strikeouts. Kemmer had two hits, including a solo blast, while Garrett Stubbs notched two singles and two walks.

Leading Las Vegas

Fresno opened a five-game home series against Las Vegas with a 5-0 win on Wednesday. Mike Hauschild turned in a stellar performance, going eight innings and striking out seven. Taylor Jones hit a two-run homer, while Kyle Tucker had two hits and a walk. Kemmer also added two hits and a walk in his final game before being traded.

The Grizzlies got buried early and never recovered on Thursday, falling by a score of 12-5. Trent Thornton turned in a disastrous outing, surrendering 11 runs (10 earned) in just 1.1 innings. Tucker and A.J. Reed each went deep, while Nick Tanielu posted his second straight two-hit effort.

Fresno rebounded on Friday with an 8-1 victory. Rogelio Armenteros improved to 7-0, hurling six innings and allowing one run with seven strikeouts. Derek Fisher drove in four runs with his two hits, including a homer. Jones hit a two-run triple, while Myles Straw walked twice and stole two bases.

The Grizzlies dropped the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader 5-4 in seven innings. Josh James did not allow a hit, but walked four and surrendered one run in just three innings. Jack Mayfield had two hits and two RBIs, while Tanielu added two hits and one RBI. Yordan Alvarez notched his first Triple-A hit, a double.

Fresno won Saturday’s second game 2-1 to claim the series win. Dykxhoorn gave up one run in 5.2 innings, striking out seven. Reed drove in both runs with a third-inning single. The team did not play on Sunday.

Player of the Week: Brock Dykxhoorn

The 24-year-old righthander turned in two strong starts this week to help his team rebound after a tough stretch. Over 12.2 innings, he gave up just two runs on 10 hits with one walk. He added 11 strikeouts in for good measure.

Through his first eight Triple-A starts, Dykxhoorn is sporting a 3.15 ERA, 0.88 WHIP and 3-1 record. His emergence is just one reason why the team enjoys its first place position at the All-Star break.

Next: Astros' 2018 All-Stars announced

What’s Next

The Grizzlies don’t play again until Thursday, the day after the Triple-A All-Star game. Reed, Davis and Stubbs will represent Fresno on the All-Star roster. Tucker was also elected to the team, but is now with the major league club.

Coming out of the break, the team hits the road for four games at Tacoma. Fresno sits at 52-37 on the season, 4.5 games ahead of second-place Tacoma.