The Fresno Grizzlies (24-30) came from behind to defeat the Tacoma Rainiers (31-21) 12-9 in the opener of a four-game series at Chukchansi Park Thursday night. It was the largest comeback win for Fresno this season, after coming back from a 5-0 deficit on April 21 against Las Vegas to win 8-5. The victory also put the Grizzlies on a four-game win streak, their longest of the season.
The Grizzlies and the Rainiers traded runs in the first inning to make the score 1-1. For Tacoma, Leonys Martin (2-for-4) led off the game with his third home run of the season to right. For Fresno, Derek Fisher (2-for-4) doubled to get on and scored on a Teoscar Hernandez (2-for-4) RBI single.
A 10-batter, six-run third put the Rainiers ahead 7-1. Daniel Vogelbach (2-for-4), D.J. Peterson and Danny Muno each knocked RBI singles, while the other three runs scored on a Fresno defensive error.
In the third for the Grizzlies, Tony Kemp grounded out with a RBI to score Alejandro Garcia who singled to get on and advanced to third on a wild pitch and an error. Garcia went 3-for-4 on the night and scored three times in his 2017 Grizzlies debut after playing 17 games with the club in 2016.
Fresno cut Tacoma's lead to 7-4 in the fourth. Juan Centeno (3-for-4) hit a RBI single to score Colin Moran who reached on an error. A.J. Reed (2-for-4) doubled to get on and scored on a wild pitch to end the scoring in the frame. Centeno's single extended his hit streak to 20 games. He is now chasing the longest overall Grizzlies hit streak, 32 games by infielder Dave Doster in 2004.
The Grizzlies batted around in the fifth to take a 10-7 lead over the Rainiers. Garcia led off with a double and scored on a Preston Tucker RBI single. Reed then hit a two-run single that scored Tucker and Hernandez (single). Centeno followed by blasting his first Triple-A home run of the season. He homered twice in just as many games with the Astros on May 23 and May 25. The three-run jack was hit to right field and gave him his first multi-RBI game of the season with four.
The Rainiers tacked on two more in the sixth to cut the Grizzlies' lead to 10-9, but not for long. In the bottom of the inning Fisher crushed his team-leading 14th home run of the season to right to give Fresno a 12-9 lead. The two-run bomb was also his fourth in as many games.
Brian Holmes (1-2) earned his first win of the season for Fresno in relief of starter Francis Martes, who went two and two thirds and allowed seven runs (four earned) on six hits and four walks with two strikeouts. Holmes allowed two runs on two hits and a walk with three strikeouts in the win. Dayan Diaz picked up his first save of 2017 with an inning and a third to end the game.
For Tacoma, starter Rob Whalen (0-3) suffered the loss allowing 10 runs (six earned) on 10 hits with five strikeouts. He did not walk a batter through five innings pitched.
Fresno and Tacoma will play the second of a four-game series on Friday at 7:05 p.m. Probable starters are RHP Chase De Jong (2-2, 5.06) for the Rainiers against RHP Casey Coleman (2-3, 6.67) for the Grizzlies.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.