Fresno, Ca.---Fresno Grizzlies (60-66) left-handed starter Michael Kickham (7-7) won his fourth straight start in a 5-2 victory over the Reno Aces (50-77) on Friday night at Chukchansi Park. Kickham had a 14-straight inning scoreless streak coming into tonight worked 6 2/3 innings. He allowed five hits, two runs (both earned), he walked two, and struck out eight. Overall, he had pitched 17 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings prior to allowing a run in the fourth. His eight strikeouts match his season high, which he also accomplished May 18th at home against New Orleans.
The Grizzlies offensively were led by right fielder Juan Perez who had three hits (all singles), and one RBI. The game was equal at 2-2 when Fresno scored twice in the bottom of the fifth courtesy of run-producing singles by second baseman Nick Noonan, and Perez. Fresno added another run in the sixth inning on a home run to right field by center fielder Gary Brown (13).
Right-hander Jake Dunning pitched an 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief with a pair of strikeouts, and righty Heath Hembree (28) earned the save with a perfect ninth inning, and a strikeout. Hembree is second in the Pacific Coast League in strikeouts trailing New Orleans right-hander Chris Hatcher who has 30.
Reno right-handed starter Zeke Spruill (4-4) allowed three runs (all earned) in five innings. He gave up five hits, four walks, four strikeouts, and he hit a batter.
Game two of this scheduled five-game series will be at 7:05 p.m. on Saturday. Right-hander Matt Wright (1-1) will pitch for Reno against Fresno right-handed starter Justin Fitzgerald (2-4).
Over Kickham's last four starts he's combined to go 4-0 over 27 1/3 innings, and has given up four earned runs in that span (1.32) with 16 strikeouts.