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Kemmer stays hot (2-run homer, 2-run triple), but Grizz fall 9-5 to I-Cubs

Fresno outfielder Jon Kemmer batting .360 with nine home runs and 25 RBI in last 25 games
August 13, 2016

Once Tacoma evened their series in Memphis with a 6-5 win Saturday night, the Fresno Grizzlies needed a third straight win to keep pace and remain three games back in the Pacific North Division race. The Iowa Cubs had other ideas, squaring the weekend series with a 9-5 win at Chukchansi Park, despite a pair of Fresno homers and another huge night from left fielder Jon Kemmer.

Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the first, Derek Fisher worked a one-out walk, setting the table for Kemmer (2-for-4) who batted third behind him. Kemmer promptly launched his 14th homer of the season to straightaway centerfield, a 400-foot-plus shot that caromed off the batter's eye, in the same fashion a two-run homer of Fisher's did a night before in Friday's win. For Kemmer, it was his ninth home run in 25 games, and he's driven in 25 runs in that span. He's also hit safely in seven of nine games, 20 of 23 and 21 of 25.

Iowa tied the game 2-2 in third on a pair of singles, a stolen base and a sac bunt; Jeimer Candelario delivered the RBI base knock. The I-Cubs then batted around in the fourth, sending up all nine batters in a five-run frame. They collected four hits in the inning, three for extra bases, and drew two walks. Logan Watkins (2-RBI triple), Kristopher Negron (sac fly) Juan Perez (RBI double) and Candelario (RBI single) delivered the big blows for a 7-2 Cubs lead.

Fresno got one back in the fourth, when Jon Singleton destroyed his team-leading 18th home run to right field with the bases empty and one out. The majestic homer made it a 7-3 game. Kemmer kept his hot streak going an inning later in the fifth with a two-run triple. Nolan Fontana (2-for-4) led off with a double, and Fisher was hit by a pitch. With two out, Kemmer bounced a fly ball off the wall in the right field corner easily scoring both runners, and just barely got his hand on third base to beat the relay throw for the hustle triple. Kemmer is now batting .360 in his last 25 games, with three triples and 16 extra-base hits in that time.  

The Cubs wouldn't let the Grizzlies all the way up off the mat however, going back up by four runs in the seventh thanks to a two-run homer by Tim Federowicz (2-for-5), his sixth of the year on a line drive beyond left field. It was his second homer in as many nights, and Federowicz now has five RBI in the first two games of this series. The Grizzlies would not have another rally in them, as four Iowa hurlers combined for 18 strikeouts, a season high for Grizz batters by three.  

I-Cubs starter Rob Zastrynzy (7-3) went five innings for the win, allowing five earned runs on six hits, with a walk and nine strikeouts. Grizz starter Edison Frias (1-2) lasted just 3.2 innings, surrendering six hits and seven earned runs, with four walks and a strikeout.  

Now trailing Tacoma for a playoff berth by four games with 23 to play, the Grizzlies will be back on the field for a 5:05 p.m. Sunday start in game three of four against Iowa on this eight-game homestand. The I-Cubs will send starter Drew Rucinski (6-12, 5.96) to the mound, taking on Fresno's Mike Hauschild (8-9, 2.96).