Fresno falters in Game 1 of PCL Finals

Memphis scored nine runs with two out in 10-4 victory; Game 2 at Chukchansi Park on Wednesday

By Fresno Grizzlies | September 11, 2018 1:38 AM

The Fresno Grizzlies (Pacific Conference Champions) dropped Game 1 of the PCL Championship Series at home to the Memphis Redbirds (American Conference Champions) on Tuesday night at Chukchansi Park by a 10-4 final. The Grizzlies will need to win three of four to claim a league title, with Game 2 also at home before the series shifts to Western Tennessee over the weekend. Earlier this season, Fresno won three of four games at Memphis (August 4-7), piling up 41 runs in the clubs' only regular season meeting.

Tommy Edman (4-for-5, 3 RBI) led the game with a leadoff homer to right field, his first of the postseason. It was 4-0 Memphis after two innings; the Redbirds scored three in the second on a pair of RBI singles by Wilfredo Tovar (3-for-4, 2 RBI) and Edman, tacking on a third run due to an error.

Leading by the same score in the fifth, Memphis tacked on another with an Edman double, his third hit of the game, and a two-out RBI single from Rangel Ravelo.

Trailing 5-0, the Grizzlies were on the board in the fifth, after a one-out Garrett Stubbs (2-for-4, 2 RBI) double into the left field corner scored Derek Fisher all the way from first base following a walk; Fisher beat a good relay and a close play at the plate for Fresno's first run. It was 5-2 after Myles Straw ripped a double of his own up the line in left, easily scoring Stubbs with two out. 

Memphis struck back in the visitor half of the sixth however, when Tovar added his second RBI single of the night. A batter later, Edman ripped his fourth hit and drove in his third run of the game, making it a five-run lead again for the Redbirds at 7-2.

Grizz starter Brady Rodgers (0-1 playoffs) went 5.1 innings, allowing six runs on six hits, with four strikeouts and two walks. Only four of the six runs were earned.

Fresno would not go quietly though, putting together a two-out rally in the home sixth. Yordan Alvarez walked, and scored all the way from first on a Nick Tanielu double into the right field corner. Tanielu then scored on a Stubbs base hit up the middle, trimming the Redbirds' lead to 7-4. Alvarez has hit safely in his last 11 games, dating back to the regular season.

Redbirds starter Kevin Herget (1-0 playoffs) lasted 5.2 innings, surrendering four (earned) runs on four hits and three walks. The right-hander struck out six.

With the bases loaded and two out in the eighth, Memphis would put the game out of reach when Alex Mejia tripled into the right field gap, plating each runner for a 10-4 advantage.

The PCL Championship Series will continue with Game 2 in Fresno on Wednesday. RHP Trent Thornton (1-0, 1.80) will start for the Grizzlies, opposite LHP Tyler Lyons (0-1, 6.75) of the Redbirds. First pitch at Chukchansi Park is scheduled for 7:05.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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