On an 0-2 pitch from Sacramento right-handed reliever Ross Wolf, Borchard's homer, his 16th this season, just cleared the six-foot wall in left field to tie the game at two. However, the Grizzlies were just getting started in what turned out to be the game-deciding inning. Following Borchard, center fielder Tyler Graham had an infield single to shortstop. Then on a hit-and-run, catcher Steve Holm blooped a single to center field that sent Graham to third. With nobody out, second baseman Emmanuel Burriss hit a ground ball to Sacramento first baseman Dallas McPherson. He threw to River Cats shortstop Eric Sogard to force Holm, however, Graham took off for the plate and beat Sogard's throw home to give the Grizzlies their first lead of the series at 3-2.
In the bottom of the ninth, Sogard led off facing Grizzlies lefty reliever Geno Espineli. Espineli had Sogard at two strikes but then on a 3-2 count he hit him in the back to put the tying run was at first. Espineli was removed and Denny Bautista was summoned. Michael Taylor stepped in as the potential winning run, but ripped a ball to Fresno shortstop Tony Pena Jr., who caught the line drive and quickly threw to Grizzlies first baseman Brandon Belt to double-up Sogard. Anthony Recker followed by lofting a fly ball to Fresno left fielder Ben Copeland for the final out of the game.
Bautista earned the save, his eighth of the season. Grizzlies starter Henry Sosa lasted 5.1 innings. The right-hander gave up five hits and two runs (one earned), walking two and striking out four, allowing one home run and committed a balk.
Sacramento left-handed starter Bobby Cramer came through with a six-inning effort. He allowed five hits and one run, walking one and striking out six. The loss went to Wolf, who fell to 0-1.
Steve Edlefsen (7-1) earned the victory for Fresno with a scoreless sixth inning. Left-handers Joe Paterson and Dan Runzler followed Edlefsen, combining to toss 1.2 shutout innings.
Game three of this scheduled five-game series at Raley Field is Friday night at 7:05pm. Fresno right-hander Waldis Joaquin (1-2) will start against Sacramento right-hander Brett Tomko (1-0).
Fresno leads the season series 8-5 over Sacramento.
The Grizzlies improve to 22-19 in one-run games.
Pena, after pitching on Wednesday night, came into play shortstop in the bottom of the seventh. He handled both his chances, a ground ball and the line drive on the double play in the bottom of the ninth.
Brandon Belt, who played left field in his first game with Fresno on Wednesday, was at first base with Brett Pill as the designated hitter. It was Pill's fourth game as the designated hitter this year.