The Fresno Grizzlies (44-27) have the best record in Triple-A Baseball after sweeping the Round Rock Express (30-41) in four games, the punctuation mark coming in a 5-3 win at Dell Diamond on Tuesday night. The victory capped a 6-1 road trip where the Grizzlies allowed three or fewer runs in each win, surrendering just 15 runs the entire trip; the worst outing being their 4-1 loss at New Orleans on Thursday. Fresno's 3.96 club ERA ranks first in the PCL's Pacific Conference, and third in the league overall. The Grizzlies are 24-6 when allowing three or fewer runs, 42-8 when scoring more than three runs and 32-7 when scoring first.
It's the Grizzlies' second four-game sweep this season (April 13-16 at home vs. Reno), improving Fresno to 12-4 in June (8-1 road). The Grizzlies are 23-12 on the road, their five-game win streak their longest away from home this season, and their second-longest win streak period this year, behind their seven-game run April 11-17.
On a bullpen night for Round Rock, Express starter Deolis Guerra threw the first two and two-thirds innings, allowing three hits (zero runs, zero walks). The right-hander struck out three.
The Grizzlies broke up a scoreless tie in the fourth, when a pair of Jeff Springs (0-1) walks de-railed the Express. AJ Reed led the inning with a free pass, and scored on a Jon Kemmer RBI single to left; a batter later Antonio Nunez drilled a double to the same field, scoring both Kemmer and Jack Mayfield, who had walked earlier in the inning, to make it 3-0 Fresno.
The walks would continue to pile up an inning later, as in the fifth lefty Brandon Mann issued three of them around a single, with Garrett Stubbs picking up an RBI by walking with the bases loaded, for a 4-0 Grizz advantage.
Fresno starter Brock Dykxhoorn cruised through five perfect innings, with six strikeouts. He did not allow a baserunner until the first batter of the sixth, when Nick Noonan tapped an infield single to short. Noonan, the former Grizz who was with Fresno through the end of the San Francisco Giants affiliation, played 294 games for the Grizzlies between 2011 and 2014. It was Noonan who also broke up Trent Thornton's no-hitter with two out in the eighth on Saturday with a single.
Round Rock scored twice in the sixth, thanks to a pair of former Grizzlies and the brother of one. A Juan Centeno (2017) sacrifice bunt set the table for Scott Heineman (2-for-4), whose RBI single scored Noonan. Tyler Heineman caught for the Grizzlies in 2015 and 2016. Drew Robinson added another RBI single for the home side, making it a 4-2 ballgame.
Dykxhoorn (2-0) would go seven innings, allowing just two (earned) runs on four hits. He did not walk a batter and struck out eight, and has struck out 34 in his first 30.2 Triple-A innings pitched. The Canadian right-hander has walked just four batters in that time, allowing only 15 hits and eight runs (2.35 ERA) over his first five starts with Fresno, four of them quality starts.
In the ninth the clubs traded one-run blows to make it a 5-3 final. The Grizzlies scored their final run on a Reed RBI fielder's choice, which scored Kyle Tucker (3-for-4, walk) after a one-out double down the left field line. Reed's 62 RBI are the most in Triple-A. The Express added a Tommy Joseph RBI single, scoring a Willie Calhoun double.
Tucker extended his season-long and current team-long hit streak to nine games, scoring a pair of runs. Tucker his 19-for-40 during the streak, and enjoyed an 8-for-16 series. Tucker had four three-hit games during the seven-game road trip. Myles Straw went 2-for-5, capping a 9-for-20 series, his first in Triple-A after being promoted to Fresno from Double-A Corpus Christi. Hitting safely in all four games, Straw also stole four bases in the series, and leads all of Minor League Baseball with 39 in 69 games played (35 steals in 65 Double-A games).
Following an off day Wednesday, the Grizzlies will be back in action on "Coming To Fresno" night Thursday against Albuquerque. Probable starters are RHP Cy Sneed (6-3, 3.36) for the Grizz against former Fresno LHP Brett Oberholtzer (3-4, 5.60) for ABQ in the series opener (four games).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.