The Fresno Grizzlies (72-60) dropped the second contest of a four-game series against the Tacoma Rainiers (65-67) in front of the second-largest crowd of 2017 at Chukchansi Park. The 7-3 loss on Friday night was seen by 12,708 fans, the sixth five-digit crowd the Grizzlies have had this season. The crowd was smaller to only the 14,202 fans on the fourth of July.
The Grizzlies broke open the scoring in the opening frame thanks to A.J. Reed's (2-for-4) first home run of the game. He crushed his team-leading 29th homer of the season to right center that scored Rico Noel (single) to give the home team a 2-0 lead.
Tacoma got on the scoreboard in the second when a Joey Wong RBI single scored Tuffy Gosewisch (2-for-4) who also singled to get on. The Rainiers then took over the lead in the eighth when a Mike Marjama RBI double and a Gosewisch sacrifice fly gave them a 3-2 lead.
The Rainiers' lead increased in the fifth with Gosewisch's second and third RBI of the night, a two-run double. Andrew Aplin singled to get on and Danny Muno walked to get on before they both scored on the double. In the sixth, Kevin Santa scored on a throwing error to give Tacoma a 6-2 lead before a wild pitch in the seventh allowed Wong to score to make it 7-2.
Fresno got a run back in the ninth with Reed's second homer of the night and 30th of the season. He led off the final frame with a bomb to right field. It was his third two-homer game of the season and the 14th such overall for the Grizzlies in 2017. Reed is now on pace for 32 home runs this season, one shy of the highest single-season total in Grizzlies' history (Pedro Feliz, 33 in 2000).
Houston Astros right-hander Lance McCullers Jr. (0-1) suffered the loss in a MLB rehab start for Fresno. He tossed 59 pitches through three innings and allowed three runs on three hits and five walks with one strikeout. It was his second career appearance at the Triple-A level, making one rehab start for the Grizzlies last season as well.
Relievers Tony Sipp and Will Harris followed McCullers in MLB rehab appearances of their own. Sipp pitched a three up, three down fourth while Harris allowed two runs on two hits and a walk with one strikeout in the fifth.
Tacoma starter Max Povse allowed two runs on three hits and two walks with four strikeouts through four innings. Evan Marshall (1-0) earned the win in three scoreless innings of relief having only allowed two hits and striking out two.
The Grizzlies and the Rainiers play the third of a four-game series on Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. Probable starters are RHP Andrew Moore (3-3, 3.52) for Tacoma and RHP Rogelio Armenteros (6-1, 2.38) for Fresno.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.