Astros Minor League Recap: Fresno completes regular season

ANAHEIM, CA - OCTOBER 02: Brady Rodgers #62 of the Houston Astros pitches against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on October 2, 2016 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - OCTOBER 02: Brady Rodgers #62 of the Houston Astros pitches against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on October 2, 2016 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images) /
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The Houston Astros‘ Triple-A affiliate Fresno Grizzlies completed the 2018 regular season and are moving on to the postseason.

After clinching the division title last week, the Fresno Grizzlies finished up the 2018 regular season and now prepare for the postseason. In a playoff preview, the team took two of three from El Paso, which Fresno will face in the first round beginning Wednesday. The team has plenty of options both in the lineup and on the pitching staff as it looks to make a championship run. Of note, the game scheduled for Aug. 27 against Salt Lake was canceled.

Playoff Preview

In the opener of a three-game series against playoff opponent El Paso, the Grizzlies won 9-4 on Aug. 28. Rogelio Armenteros gave up three runs in 4.2 innings, failing to qualify for the victory. In his first Triple-A game since June 13 due to injury, Drew Ferguson went 2-for-3 with a solo homer. Kyle Tucker added a two-run shot, while Garrett Stubbs had two hits and four RBIs.

Fresno dropped the second game of the series 6-3 on Aug. 29. Brock Dykxhoorn gave up five runs in 5.1 innings to take the loss. Nick Tanielu doubled and drove in two, while Ferguson and Tucker added two hits apiece. Jack Mayfield walked three times and drove in a run.

The Grizzlies claimed the rubber match of the series with a 5-1 victory on Thursday. Brady Rodgers tossed seven scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and two walks. Yordan Alvarez and Myles Straw each had three hits and an RBI, while Tucker doubled and drew four walks.

Wrapping Up Right

Fresno claimed a 14-9 victory at Salt Lake on Friday in the opener of the final regular-season series. Trent Thornton struggled, giving up seven runs (six earned) in 4.2 innings. Alex De Goti homered and drove in four, while Alvarez added three hits and three RBIs. Tucker went 2-for-3 with two walks and three RBIs, and A.J. Reed launched a solo homer.

The Grizzlies took Saturday’s game by a score of 8-2. Cy Sneed earned his 10th win, surrendering one run in five innings. Ferguson hit a three-run homer, while Mayfield added three hits and an RBI.

Fresno was held to just three hits on Sunday, falling 7-0. Kent Emanuel took the loss, giving up six runs (five earned) in four innings. The offense managed just three singles and three walks, and the defense committed three errors.

The Grizzlies rebounded to close out the regular season with a 7-6 win on Monday in 10 innings. Akeem Bostick made his Triple-A debut and gave up four runs in five innings. Dykxhoorn pitched five innings in relief, striking out 11 and earning the win. Mayfield and Alvarez each hit a two-run homer, while Tanielu added three hits and two RBIs.

Player of the Week: Brady Rodgers

It’s been a little bumpy for Rodgers in his return from Tommy John surgery, but he’s pitched well of late. After posting a 7.71 ERA through his first six Triple-A starts this year, he’s allowed just one run over 13 innings in his last two outings.

None were better than his 7-inning performance on Thursday in which he allowed just one hit. With a full offseason ahead of him, Rodgers could be in prime position to compete for a major league roster spot next spring.

Next. Astros: Verlander starts September on a good note. dark

What’s Next

Fresno kicks off its opening round of the postseason Wednesday at El Paso. The best-of-five series will go through Sunday, if necessary. Should the Grizzlies advance, they’ll play in the PCL Championship Series next week. Fresno finishes the regular season at 82-57, 10.5 games ahead of second-place Reno.

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