The Houston Astros‘ Triple-A affiliate Fresno Grizzlies posted a strong 4-2 record this week.
A strong 4-2 week for Fresno helped extend their division lead even further beyond last week’s mark of seven games. Strong pitching performances have led the way for this team, including another dazzling effort by Josh James. A poor outing from Ken Giles has ballooned his ERA to 8.44 through his first six Triple-A appearances.
A Sweeping Victory
The Grizzlies opened a three-game home series with a 2-1 win over Iowa on Tuesday. Josh James surrendered just one unearned run in six innings, striking out 11. Myles Straw went 2-for-3 with a stolen base, while Nick Tanielu was 2-for-4 with an RBI. Neither team managed an extra-base hit in this game.
Fresno took the second game of the series 9-1 on Wednesday. Cy Sneed tossed six scoreless innings to earn his ninth win of the season. Derek Fisher finished a triple shy of the cycle, driving in two. Garrett Stubbs hit a three-run homer, while Jack Mayfield added a two-run blast.
The Grizzlies completed the sweep with a 5-4 victory on Thursday in 10 innings. Tyler White had two hits and two RBIs, including the walk-off double. A.J. Reed also drove in two with his 22nd home run of the season. Starter Mike Hauschild gave up four runs (three earned) on eight hits in six innings.
In the opener of a four-game home series against Omaha, Fresno took a 15-4 beating on Friday. Brock Dykxhoorn gave up six runs on 12 hits in 3.2 innings. Ken Giles also struggled, surrendering four runs on three hits and a walk. Fisher and Mayfield each hit solo homers.
The Grizzlies rebounded on Saturday, defeating Omaha 3-2. Brady Rodgers earned the win, going six innings and allowing two runs. Rogelio Armenteros followed with three hitless innings to earn the save. Jake Marisnick doubled twice and drove in a run, while Yordan Alvarez went 2-for-3 with a walk.
Fresno lost Sunday’s game 5-4 in 11 innings. Trent Thornton went seven innings, giving up three runs and striking out seven. Jamie Ritchie had three hits and an RBI, while Antonio Nunez notched two hits, including a triple.
Player of the Week: Josh James
James continues to mow down hitters in his first stint at Triple-A. His latest start saw him fan 11 batters in six innings of work. He also allowed just one unearned run, lowering his ERA to 3.18. He now has 101 strikeouts in just 65 innings for Fresno this year.
The 25-year-old righthander could become a bullpen weapon for the Astros. Armed with a fastball that can reach triple digits, he’s quickly making people take notice of his potential. He’s currently ranked sixth among Astros prospects, according to MLB.com.
The Grizzlies look to salvage a series split in Monday’s finale against Omaha. Following an off day Tuesday, they’ll hit the road for three games at Nashville and four at Memphis. Fresno sits at 62-45 on the season, eight games ahead of second-place Reno.