Round Rock, TEXAS - Adam Duvall's two-out double in the top of the 12th inning scored the go-ahead run for the Fresno Grizzlies (39-38) and Heath Hembree struck out the side in the bottom half to secure a 4-3 marathon victory over the Round Rock Express (36-40) Saturday night at Dell Diamond. The win extends Fresno's winning streak against Round Rock to nine games dating back to the 2012 season.
Mark Minicozzi, who hadn't reached base in five previous at bats, drew a two-out walk to extend the 12th inning and push Gary Brown into scoring position. Up stepped Adam Duvall, who worked the count to 3-1 and then laced a pitch from lefty Justin Marks for a go-ahead RBI double. Hembree used only 12 pitches (nine strikes) in the bottom of the 12th to strikeout the side and collect his 14th save.
Adam Reifer improved to 5-0 on the season by tossing a scoreless 10th and 11th inning.
A seesaw game had the Grizzlies up 2-0 in the first, but they'd let Round Rock scratch across three runs over the next six innings to face a one run deficit heading to the third. Fresno failed to score runs from the second-sixth due in part to Express starter Ryan Feierabend who busy striking out eight over 6.0 innings. Over the last two games, opposing starters have piled up a combined 19 strikeouts against Fresno batters.
Chris Dominguez took advantage of Feierabend's exit after the sixth to take the first pitch thrown from reliever Roman Mendez over the left-center field wall for a game-tying solo homer. The game remained tied at three from the seventh until Duvall recorded the RBI double in the 12th.
Five Fresno relievers combined to toss 8.0 innings. Jose De Paula surrendered a run in the sixth to give the Express a brief 3-2 lead, but that marked his only blemish during his 2.0 innings. Mason Tobin (1.0 IP), Erik Cordier (2.0), Adam Reifer W; 2.0) and Heath Hembree (S; 1.0) all recorded scoreless outings and kept Round Rock hitless from the seventh inning on.
Brett Bochy (ND; 2 ER/4.0 IP) made his second consecutive spot start and threw a career-high 4.0 innings. Both of the two runs charged to him came in the first two innings. Adam Rosales took a 3-2 pitch over the left field wall for a solo home run in the first and Brett Nicholas scored Carlos Pena on a sacrifice fly in the second.
After allowing the leadoff runner to reach base in the third, Bochy hunkered down to strikeout the side and then returned in the fourth to squander another leadoff base runner by inducing a double play grounder from Carlos Pena and then striking out Jason Donald to end the frame. He'd exit the game for reliever Jose De Paula with the game tied at two.
The two teams meet tomorrow night at 5:05 p.m. PT for game two of the series. Fresno will send right-hander Chris Heston (7-3, 3.69) to the mound to face right-hander Daniel McCutchen (2-5, 7.48).