Fresno, Calif. - Brett Pill drove in a career-high five runs as the Fresno Grizzlies halted their three-game losing streak with a 7-5 win over the Colorado Springs Sky Sox on Monday afternoon at Chukchansi Park.
Each one of Pill's run producing hits came at opportune times, starting with a bases clearing double with the bases loaded in the first inning. In the fifth, Pill hit a high-flying two-run home run to left field that gave the Grizzlies a 7-3 lead.
The five RBIs from Pill were also a season-high for all Grizzlies hitters this season. He leads all of Minor League Baseball with 36 RBIs this season.
The Grizzlies offense supported an impressive start by Fresno right-hander Chris Heston. The 25-year-old fanned nine to match his season-high for strikeouts in a start.
Heston retired the first nine batters he faced before former Grizzlies infielder Charlie Culberson led off the fourth inning with a solo home run. Back-to-back hits by Tommy Manzella and starting pitcher Justin Berg tied the game at 3-3 in the fifth inning. Heston finished the game throwing six innings, allowing three runs on four hits and two walks in the winning decision. It was Heston's first win since April 10.
The Sky Sox scored two runs off reliever Sandy Rosario in the eighth, but Dan Runzler spelled Rosario and induced a fly out to end the eighth inning threat.
Heath Hembree closed out the game with a scoreless ninth for his eighth save this season. Hembree allowed a deep fly ball hit by Culberson with a runner on third base, but Roger Kieschnick made a leaping catch against the left field wall to end the game.
Berg suffered the loss for the Sky Sox. The right-hander surrendered seven runs on eight hits and three walks in five innings. Rob Scahill threw three shutout innings of relief for the Sky Sox for the second time in the series.
Hector Sanchez and Gary Brown both scored two runs for the Grizzlies. Sanchez, in his first game with the Grizzlies since being optioned, scored both of his runs on Pill's run-producing base knocks. He finished the game 1-for-2 with two walks. Brown, meanwhile, went 2-for-4 with two stolen bases. Brown has eight hits in his last five games.
Roger Kieschnick was hitless, but he drove in a run and walked.
Culberson was the lone Sky Sox hitter to have more than one hit. He went 2-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored. Matt McBride had two RBIs for Colorado Springs.
The Grizzlies head to Nashville to start an eight-game road trip. Right-hander Shane Loux will start for the Grizzlies in the series opener against the Sounds. He will face left-hander Zach Kroenke in a 5:05 pm PDT game on Tuesday.