The Fresno Grizzlies (66-49) played their highest scoring game of 2018 on Tuesday night, outlasting the Memphis Redbirds (71-44) 15-14 at Autozone Park in Downtown Memphis. 15 runs is game #115 tied the highest run output of 2018 for Fresno, matching their 15-8 win at Reno on April 7 in the third game of the season.
Tuesday's game was not the highest-scoring all-time between the two clubs (each began PCL play in 1998), nor did either club set a record for most runs scored against the other; exactly 12 years to the day, on August 7, 2006, the Grizzlies beat the Redbirds 17-16 in Fresno.
Fresno jumped out to an early lead, as they have all series. After Kyle Tucker (4-for-6, 3 RBI) doubled off the right field wall with one out, he scored when AJ Reed (2-for-4, 5 RBI) doubled into the right field corner. Reed has now hit safely in 12 of 13 games (17-for-52, .327), and has driven in 11 runs in the last three games, putting the Grizzlies up 1-0 after a half inning. Reed leads Triple-A baseball with 95 RBI, his 249 career RBI with Fresno puts him fourth on the franchise all-time list (Damon Minor 259, Brett Pill 315 and Todd Linden 325).
It was 3-0 an inning later when Nick Tanielu (3-for-5, 2 RBI) smoked his fourth Triple-A home run this season to the left field alley, a two-run shot after Yordan Alvarez led off the second with a walk.
Memphis put together a 12-batter, seven-run second inning, started by a solo homer to left field by Carson Kelly, his seventh with the Redbirds this season. That chased Fresno starter Cy Sneed from the game after an inning and a third; all seven runs were earned. Sneed allowed four hits and walked three.
Trailing 7-3 in the third, the Grizzlies quickly struck back with a pair of runs, after Tucker led the frame with a single, and scored on a Jack Mayfield (3-for-5, 4 RBI) run-scoring triple into the right field gap. Mayfield scored on Reed's second RBI, a sac fly to make the score 7-5. It was 8-5 after Ramon Urias (2-for-5) led off the home third with a solo homer (4).
It was a short night for Memphis starter Jake Woodford as well, in the high-scoring affair. Neither starter would factor into the decision, with Woodford surrendering five (earned) runs on six hits and three walks, with two strikeouts in four innings pitched.
Mayfield homered on consecutive nights in the fifth, launching a solo shot to left field, again trimming the Redbirds' lead back to two at 8-6. Trailing by that same score in the seventh, Myles Straw led off with a walk, before Tucker crushed a 402-foot homer to straightaway centerfield, tying the game 8-8. Tucker's 16th homer of the year was also his second of the series.
Fresno completed the comeback and then some, stringing together a 12-batter inning of their own in the eighth, plating seven runs. Tucker's fourth hit of the night, an run-scoring comebacker off the pitcher, a two-run double to the right-center gap for Mayfield and a three-run homer from Reed rounded out the Grizz scoring, for a 15-8 lead, and the visitors would end up needing every last bit of that insurance. Reed's five-RBI game was his third this season, joining a six-RBI effort on June 10 at home vs. Oklahoma City, and five RBI on July 20 at Albuquerque in a pair of Fresno victories.
The Redbirds weren't finished, scoring thrice in the eighth on a Rangel Ravelo (2-for-5, 4 RBI) single, and a two-run double from Justin Williams, making it 15-11 going to the ninth. Once there, Memphis scored three more, punctuated by a Ravelo two-RBI single. Riley Ferrell entered for the Grizzlies with two out and ended the game on one pitch with a pop-up, stranding both the potential tying and winning run on first and third base, improving Fresno to 33-26 on the road this season, and 16-20 in one-run games. Right-hander Dean Deetz (1-0) picked up the win for the Grizzlies, pitching a scoreless seventh with a strikeout. It was Ferrell's second Triple-A save since his promotion to Fresno on June 27.
The Grizzlies will enjoy an off day/travel day on Wednesday. They'll be back in action on Thursday evening at Chukchansi Park, beginning a four-game set and seven-game homestand against the Albuquerque Isotopes. Probable starters for the series opener are RHP Jeff Hoffman (5-6, 4.58) for Albuquerque and RHP Rogelio Armenteros (7-1, 3.66) for Fresno, a 7:05 p.m. first pitch.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.