El Paso, Texas (Tuesday, July 2) - The Fresno Grizzlies (44-41) won for the fourth time in five games on Tuesday evening, outlasting the El Paso Chihuahuas (51-33) by an 11-9 final. The victory secured a series win for Fresno, with the fifth game and series finale on deck for Wednesday, prior to the Grizzlies coming home to play the Tacoma Rainiers on the Fourth of July in front of an expected sell-out crowd at Chukchansi Park.
Fresno's Yadiel Hernandez, who had three hits and a walk on Monday, wasted no time on Tuesday and delivered a two-RBI single in the first inning after Andrew Stevenson and Carter Kieboom led off with base hits. The Grizz lead was short-lived however, once Esteban Quiroz lifted a three-run homer to right field in the second. Kieboom quickly answered with a two-out solo shot to left field in the third, tying the score 3-3 on his 14th homer of the season.
Jose Pirela broke the tie with El Paso's second three-run homer of the night in the home half of the third. Trailing 6-3 however, Fresno held serve in the fourth, scoring three times to tie the game on a two-run bases loaded single by Stevenson, and a Matt Reynolds' RBI fielder's choice. The Grizzlies took their second two-run lead of the night in the fifth, when Jake Noll singled with two out, and was followed by Taylor Gushue's sixth homer of the season to left.
Leading 8-7 in the sixth, Kieboom supplied the Grizzlies with their third separate two-run advantage of the night (two-out RBI single), before Hernandez homered for the 19th time to make the score 11-7. Hernandez, in his third season in the U.S. with the Washington Nationals out of Cuba, has set a new domestic career-high in home runs. The 31-year-old went deep 18 times in 2018 over 124 games between Double-A and Triple-A.
In the ninth, Dakota Bacus secured his sixth save of the season, and his third in five games dating to Friday's home game against Las Vegas. Both he and Hernandez will return to El Paso next week, for the RMHC Triple-A All-Star Game, to played on Wednesday, July 10 at Southwest University Park. Hernandez enjoyed his fifth game this season of four or more RBI on Tuesday.
Top Performers: Fresno Grizzlies (Washington Nationals)
• LF Yadiel Hernandez (3-4, HR, 4 RBI, BB)
• 3B Carter Kieboom (3-5, Solo HR, 2 RBI, 3 R)
• RF Andrew Stevenson (2-4, 2 RBI, 2 R, BB)
Top Performers: El Paso Chihuahuas (San Diego Padres)
• 2B Esteban Quiroz (2-2, HR, 3 RBI, BB)
• C Austin Allen (2-5, Solo HR, 2B, 2 R)
• RF Jose Pirela (2-4, HR, 3 RBI, 3 R, BB)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.