The Fresno Grizzlies socked four home runs against the Sacramento River Cats in game two of "Rivalry Week" at Chukchansi Park, the final homestand of this season for the Grizz. A huge ninth-inning rally for the homestanding Grizzlies proved to be too little too late in a 12-10 loss, evening the series at a game apiece. Despite the result, four Fresno batters collected multiple hits in the slugfest.
Sacramento led 1-0 after an inning, after former Grizz Travis Ishikawa (2-for-3, 4 RBI) was plunked by Fresno starter Eury De La Rosa with the bases loaded, for the tough RBI. It was 2-0 in the second after Ruben Tejada (2-for-5) led off with a single, and scored on a gap double by Tony Sanchez (2-for-3, RBI). Sacramento blew the game open in the second, sending 10 batters to the plate, scoring four times total. De La Rosa (0-2) lasted just an inning and a third, allowing five earned runs on a walk and four hits.
In the bottom of the second, the Grizzlies hit the first of three solo homers on the night, as they went deep three innings in a row in the second, third and fourth. With one out, Jon Singleton destroyed his team-leading 19th homer of the year off the batter's eye in center. In the top of the third Sacramento's Mac Williamson (2-for-5, 2 RBI) responded with his 10th homer, a two-run shot that also scored Kelby Tomlinson after a fielder's choice. It was Tyler White's turn to go yard in the third, as he smoked a liner way out to the left field alley, his 13th in Triple-A and his 20th homer overall this season, counting the seven he's hit in the big leagues with the Astros. White's blast made it an 8-2 Sacramento lead. The Grizzlies pulled within five runs in the fourth when Danny Worth (2-for-4, RBI) curved a deep fly ball around the foul pole in right field for his 10th homer, but in the fifth Ishikawa stroked a two-run single, giving him four RBI on the evening to make it 10-3 River Cats.
Jon Kemmer (2-for-5), who had two doubles on the night, led off the sixth with one of them, and moved to third on a Worth infield single. Kemmer scored on a one-out sac fly to center by Derek Fisher (2-for-3, 5 RBI), to make it a 10-4 game. Kemmer is batting .304 in the month of August, with eight home runs and 23 RBI since 8/1.
River Cats starter Joan Gregorio went six innings for the win, allowing four earned runs on seven hits and two walks, with four strikeouts. He improved to 5-8 despite allowing three of the Grizzlies' four homers.
Trailing 12-4 in the eighth after Austin Slater's (2-for-4, 2 RBI) 12th homer of the year to lead off the inning and an Ali Castillo (2-for-6) RBI single, Fisher got another run back with his second RBI of the night. Colin Moran (3-for-5, 2 RBI) and Singleton reached on a single and walk respectively with one out, and Moran scored on a Fisher chopper into right field making it 12-5. The base hit for Fisher extended his current club-high hit streak to eight games, and he's 11-for-28 (.393) during the streak, with two homers and 10 RBI.
Still trailing 12-5 in the ninth, the Grizzlies rallied for five runs to make it more than interesting. After loading the bases on two walks and an error, Sacramento reliever Jean Machi allowed a one-out, two-RBI single to Moran, before Fisher pulverized his fourth home run since being promoted to Triple-A, a bomb to center field off Machi. At 12-10, that put the tying run on deck for Fresno, but submarine right-hander Tyler Rogers entered for the final out, securing a Sacramento save and win. The defeat dropped the Grizzlies to 18-7 against the River Cats in two seasons as a Houston Astros affiliate, and the Grizz are still 7-2 against their rivals to the north this season.
For Fisher, it was already his fourth multi-hit game in 17 Triple-A games (16 starts) since being moved up from Double-A Corpus Christi on August 7. Fisher's five RBI also gave the third-year pro and #7 Astros prospect according to MLB.com four multi-RBI games, having driven in two runs in a game for Fresno on three separate occasions before Thursday.
Game three of the five-game set will be Friday at 7:05 p.m. at Chukchansi Park in Downtown Fresno. Astros top pitching prospect David Paulino will make his home debut for the Grizzlies, opposite PCL wins leader Ty Blach (13-7, 3.58), the Sacramento lefty.