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Sellout Crowd Watches Grizzlies Beat Aces

Over 13,000 witness Fresno capture series victory over Reno
April 21, 2012
Fresno, Calif. - A sellout crowd of 13,121 witnessed the Fresno Grizzlies capture a 5-2 victory and series win against the Reno Aces on Friday evening at Chukchansi Park. Fresno has begun the season with four consecutive series wins, and now holds a 12-4 record. The 13,121 in attendance, meanwhile, was the 16th-largest crowd in Chukchansi Park history.

Grizzlies starter Travis Blackley threw a gem, scattering six hits over seven full innings while striking out three and walking one. The seven innings and 88 pitches were season-highs for the southpaw. It was the first time Blackley threw at least seven innings in a start and did not allow a run since his May 30th, 2007 start with the Grizzlies against Round Rock.

Fresno took the game's first lead in the fourth inning after Todd Linden drove in Charlie Culberson for Linden's 12th RBI of the season. Culberson reached in the inning on a fielding error by third baseman Taylor Harbin with one out.

Blackley helped his own cause a little bit after leading off the fifth inning with a single through the hole between first and second. Justin Christian followed him with a double down the left field line, advancing Blackley to third. After a passed ball allowed Blackley to score, Conor Gillaspie knocked in Christian with a line drive single to right field.

Culberson later delivered a no-doubter to the salad bowl in left center in the bottom of the seventh inning, adding two runs with the home run and giving the Grizzlies a 5-0 lead.

The Aces broke up the shutout in the top of the ninth when Ryan Wheeler hit a double down the right field line to plate Cole Gillespie, who was running on the pitch, from first. Pinch-hitter Evan Frey drove in Wheeler two batters later with a single to right to cap the game's scoring at 5-2. Wheeler led the Aces with three hits.

The Grizzlies will travel to the state of Washington on Saturday to begin their four-game series at Tacoma. The Rainiers will send Jeff Marquez to the mound (1-0, 6.00) while Brian Burres (0-1, 4.76) will take the bump for Fresno.