For a second straight night at Chukchansi Park, the Fresno Grizzlies (77-55) rallied from a four-run deficit in the late innings, in a game they trailed by five runs at the midway point. Their 10-9 win over the Salt Lake Bees (68-64) on Sunday improved the playoff-bound Grizz to a season-high 22 games over .500. The victory improved Fresno to 16-9 in one-run games at home this season, and was their 10th comeback win of 2018 when trailing after the sixth inning (seventh at home). Seven Grizzlies registered multiple hits.
Jake Marisnick (2-for-4) drew a bases loaded walk in the second, staking the Grizzlies to a 1-0 lead. The Bees quickly took the run back in the third, on a Jose Rojas (2-for-3) RBI single, and took the lead on a Jose Fernandez (2-for-5) run scoring base hit, going on top 2-1.
Salt Lake added four more runs in the fourth, thanks to the second RBI single of the day for Rojas, and a three-run homer by Luis Rengifo (3).
Neither starting pitcher would factor into the decision. The Bees' Osmer Morales went three innings (4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K), while southpaw Kent Emanuel tossed three and a third for the Grizzlies (8 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 4 K).
Trailing 6-1 in the sixth, Fresno struck back with three runs; Alex De Goti's RBI single was followed by a line drive to centerfield by Marisnick, scoring two more.
Leading 6-4 in the seventh, Salt Lake got comfortable with two unearned runs after a pair of errors opened the frame; Alberto Triunfel (single) and Dustin Ackley (double, 2-for-5) each drove in a run to make it 8-4.
The Grizzlies roared all the way back in the seventh, scoring five times to take a 9-8 lead. Jack Mayfield (2-for-5) led off with a double, before Jamie Ritchie (single, 2-for-3) and De Goti (double, 2-for-5) each drove in runs. Ritchie and De Goti both scored on a Myles Straw (3-for-4) base hit to left field, before Marisnick drove in Straw with his second liner to center of the game, and this time it went for a double. The Bees responded however, loading the bases and tying the game on a Matt Thaiss (2-for-4) sac fly in the eighth. A 5-4-3 double play to retire the side allowed Fresno to escape with minimal damage.
With two stolen bases, Straw upped his professional baseball-leading total to 65. He stole 35 times with Double-A Corpus Christi before being promoted in mid June, and has stolen 30 times in 32 attempts in 61 Triple-A games.
9-9 in the bottom of the 10th, the Bees employed an extreme shift, with five infielders and four men between first and second base. Kyle Tucker (2-for-6) was undeterred, chopping a single into left, scoring Straw to win it 10-9. Tossing a scoreless 10th inning with a strikeout, Brendan McCurry (6-7) picked up the win in relief.
Falling victim to Tucker's walk-off heroics two nights in a row, Salt Lake relinquished a four-run and five-run lead in consecutive games. Fresno scored five in the ninth to win 7-6 on Saturday (Tucker three-run homer), clinching the Pacific Northern Division in the process.
The series finale will be Monday evening at Chukchansi Park as the Grizzlies aim to take three of four to open the homestand.. Probable starters are RHP Rogelio Armenteros (8-1, 3.65) for Fresno and RHP Griffin Canning (1-3, 6.06) for Salt Lake. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.