Fresno, Calif. - Fresno Grizzlies outfielder Justin Christian had two hits on Saturday evening, giving him 1,000 in his professional career in affiliated baseball, but the Grizzlies could not score enough runs as they lost 7-1 to the Salt Lake Bees at Chukchansi Park. Christian, who went 2-for-2 with two walks in the game, now has 1,000 hits in 909 career games.
Skyler Stromsmoe hit a solo home run to left field to score the game's first runs and give the Grizzlies a 1-0 lead. The roundtripper was on the first pitch Stromsmoe saw in the at-bat from Bees starter Greg Smith. The home run established a new career-high for Stromsmoe for homers in a season with three.
The Fresno advantage disappeared in the seventh when the Bees grabbed the lead with two runs. Doug Deeds drove in Robinzon Diaz to tie the game at one, and Andrew Romine put the Bees up for good with a force out that scored Deeds.
In the eighth, Luis Jimenez hit a two-run home run off of Grizzlies reliever Dan Otero to make it 4-1 Salt Lake.
Salt Lake added three more runs in the top of the ninth against Heath Hembree. After Adam Heether hit a leadoff double, Drew Heid walked to put runners at first and second for Romine. Romine hit a triple over the head of the centerfielder Christian to clear the bases and give the Bees a 6-1 lead. Romine later scored on an Ed Lucas groundout to second base.
Christian and Stromsmoe combined to collect four of Fresno's five hits in the game. Brock Bond (1-for-4) was the only other Grizzlies batter to have a hit.
Grizzlies starting pitcher Brian Burres last 6 2/3 innings in the loss, allowing two runs on five hits while walking four and striking out four. The losing decision snapped a three-game winning streak for the left-hander.
Smith allowed one run on four hits in seven innings during his winning start. Sean White came on in the eighth and closed out the game to pick up his first save of the season.
Game two of the four-game series will be on Sunday at 2:05 pm. Fresno will send right-handed pitcher Eric Hacker (8-1, 3.08) to the mound to face off against Salt Lake's right-hander Matt Shoemaker (4-4, 5.40). Hacker leads the PCL in wins.