Astros Minor League Recap: Fresno advances to PCL Championship
The Houston Astros’ Triple-A affiliate Fresno Grizzlies defeated El Paso in the first round of the playoffs, advancing to the PCL Championship series.
For the second time in club history, and for the first time since winning it all in 2015, the Fresno Grizzlies have a shot at a championship. The team defeated El Paso in five games to advance to the Pacific Coast League Championship series. The Grizzlies will face Memphis beginning Tuesday as they look to cap off a strong regular season in style.
Fresno took Game One on Wednesday by an 8-7 margin in 10 innings. Brady Rodgers struggled, giving up five runs in four innings. Nick Tanielu hit a two-run homer, while Yordan Alvarez doubled and drove in two.
The Grizzlies took a 2-0 series lead on Thursday by defeating El Paso 7-5. Trent Thornton earned the win, giving up one run in five innings while striking out nine. Tanielu had three hits, including a two-run homer, while Alex De Goti added a solo shot. Derek Fisher went 3-for-5.
Fresno was limited to just three hits in a 2-0 loss on Friday as El Paso avoided the sweep. Rogelio Armenteros was the hard-luck loser, surrendering just two runs in six innings. Tanielu reached base twice with a single and a walk, while Alvarez doubled for the team’s only extra-base hit.
A four-run seventh inning doomed the Grizzlies in a 4-2 loss on Saturday, evening the series. Cy Sneed was cruising until that seventh inning; he finished having surrendered three runs in 6.1 innings. Jack Mayfield had two hits and a walk with one RBI, while Alvarez launched a solo homer.
Fresno won the series with emphasis, defeating El Paso 10-1 on Sunday. Brock Dykxhoorn gave up one run in five innings to earn the win. Garrett Stubbs and A.J. Reed each hit a two-run homer. Kyle Tucker had two hits and two RBIs, while Tanielu added three hits and scored twice.
Player of the Week: Nick Tanielu
Tanielu hit .474 for the five-game series with a 1.334 OPS. He homered in each of the team’s first two wins and had three multi-hit games. He finished the season strong, bumping his batting average up to .289, and could continue to be a key player in the championship series.
Fresno will open the best-of-five PCL Championship Series at home on Tuesday. Brady Rodgers will take the ball in Game One. Game Two will be on Wednesday, while the remaining three games will be at Memphis beginning Friday.
***Statistics courtesy of MiLB.com***