Enjoying a 5-1 roadtrip thus far, the Fresno Grizzlies (43-27) equaled their longest road win streak this season on Monday night with a 9-3 victory over the Round Rock Express (30-40), capturing their fourth consecutive victory between this series and their visit to New Orleans last week. Fresno has allowed three or fewer runs in all five of their wins during the series, permitting just 12 total runs on the trip, with a game to go.
With the win, Fresno improved to a season-high 16 games over .500, 22-12 on the road and 11-4 so far in June (7-1 road). The Grizzlies are 31-7 when scoring first, 41-8 when scoring more than three runs, 23-6 when allowing three runs or fewer, 27-4 when collecting 10 or more hits and 28-14 when hitting at least one homer. Fresno has won 12 of the 18 series they've played this season (three tied), and will try for their second four-game sweep of the season on Tuesday (April 13-16 home vs. Reno).
The Grizzlies de-railed the Express in the first, after Myles Straw (3-for-5) led off with a single. Straw, who has now hit safely in his first three Triple-A games scored following a Kyle Tucker (3-for-5) single and a J.D. Davis (2-for-5) RBI double into the right field corner. Tucker extended his season-long and current team-best hit streak to eight games, and he's 16-for-36 (.444) during the streak.
Straw is 7-for-15 in the series; his two stolen bases Monday give him four already with Fresno, and his 39 steals this season, adding 35 in 65 games at Double-A Corpus Christi prior to his promotion, gives Straw the most steals in all of professional baseball, at any level. Washington's Michael A. Taylor leads the Major Leagues- with 21.
Still leading 1-0 in the fourth, Fresno added two more runs after Tim Federowicz (single, 2-for-5) and Derek Fisher (double) led the inning with base hits; Federowicz would score on a wild pitch, and so would Fisher on a towering sac fly to right field off the bat of Jon Kemmer (2-for-4), for a 3-0 advantage. Round Rock struck back in the bottom half of the inning; a Tommy Joseph sacrifice fly supplied the first Express tally.
Fresno quickly restored the three-run advantage in the fifth, when Straw and Tucker led off with singles. When Tucker stole second base, his team-leading 11th swipe this season, Straw stole home and scored to make it a 4-1 game.
In the sixth the Grizzlies scored their third run of the game without placing a bat on a ball. Fisher walked and moved to third on a Jack Mayfield double off the left field wall. Fisher scored on a wild pitch, before Mayfield trotted home on a Kemmer RBI double to right, making the score 6-1.
Tony Sanchez (2-for-3) reduced the Fresno lead to 6-2 in the seventh, lifting Round Rock's second sac fly of the night.
Round Rock starter Richelson Pena (0-1) exited in the sixth after five-plus innings. He was tagged for 10 hits and six (earned) runs with a walk and two strikeouts, in his first Triple-A start this season, promoted earlier in the day from Double-A Frisco (Texas League).
Fresno hurler Josh James (2-2) enjoyed his fourth consecutive quality start (at least 6.0 IP, 3 or fewer ER), cruising through six innings. James allowed just four hits and an (earned) run, with two walks and five strikeouts. Lowering his ERA to 2.23 with Fresno, James has now struck out 58 batters in 40.1 innings over the first seven starts of his Triple-A debut.
The Grizzlies put a bow on the game in the eighth, when Antonio Nunez led off with a single, stole second, and scored on Straw's second RBI of the series. With two out, AJ Reed smashed his Triple-A-leading 18th home run to right, a two-run shot. Reed's 61 RBI also lead Triple-A. Nunez and Reed in the eighth ensured every Fresno batter had a hit on Monday evening.
Round Rock's Drew Robinson responded with a solo shot in the home half of the ninth, his second homer of the season far too little far too late for a 9-3 final.
The four-game series will conclude tomorrow at 7:05 p.m. CT / 5:05 p.m. PT at Dell Diamond in Round Rock. RHP Brock Dykxhoorn will get the nod for Fresno (1-0, 2.28), against fellow Dutchman Austin Bibens-Dirkx (2-3, 4.47) for Round Rock.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.