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Inland Empire inches by Fresno 4-2 Friday evening

Grizzlies lose first game to Low-A West South Division (9-1)
May 29, 2021

San Bernardino, CA (Friday, May 28) – The Fresno Grizzlies (14-8) nine-game winning streak against the Low-A West South Division ended Friday night to the Inland Empire 66ers (9-12) 4-2 from San Manuel Stadium. 16 of the Grizzlies’ first 22 games have been decided by two runs or less. Fresno

San Bernardino, CA (Friday, May 28) – The Fresno Grizzlies (14-8) nine-game winning streak against the Low-A West South Division ended Friday night to the Inland Empire 66ers (9-12) 4-2 from San Manuel Stadium. 16 of the Grizzlies’ first 22 games have been decided by two runs or less. Fresno is 9-7 in those contests with a 5-3 mark on the road.

The Grizzlies grabbed an early lead when Ezequiel Tovar smacked a single to center, plating Isaac Collins. Tovar extended his squad-high hit streak to eight contests. The advantage was quickly erased when 66ers’ Braxton Martinez whacked a two-run shot to left field. Fresno knotted the affair at two when Zac Veen mustered a sacrifice fly to center. Veen has 12 RBI this season. Inland Empire re-took the lead and never looked back in the bottom of the fourth when Jose Reyes ripped a single, notching a pair of runs.

66ers’ starter Julio Goff (3-0) only needed four runs of offense to earn the victory. The righty hurled six innings, allowing five hits and two runs while striking out four. He gave way to Justin Courtney (2.0 IP, 4 K, hold) and Kolton Ingram (1.0 IP, 2 K, save) who corralled the final three frames. Grizzlies’ starter Mike Ruff (3-1) took the decision despite six solid innings of work. Reliever Stephen Jones added three punchouts in the eighth for Fresno. Game five of the series is tomorrow evening in San Bernardino.

Top Performers: Fresno Grizzlies (Colorado Rockies)

• RHP Stephen Jones (1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K)

• CF Isaac Collins (2-4, 2B, R)

• RHP Mike Ruff (6.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 7 K)

Top Performers: Inland Empire 66ers (Los Angeles Angels)

• 1B Braxton Martinez (1-2, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, BB)

• RHP Julio Goff (6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 K)

• RHP Justin Courtney (2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K)

On Deck:

Saturday, May 29 @ Inland Empire, Fresno RHP Mitchell Kilkenny (1-1, 1.13) vs. Inland Empire RHP Jack Kochanowicz (0-1, 18.47), 7:05 pm PT

ON THAT FRES-NOTE:

Mike Ruff’s 91 pitches ties a season-high for most pitches thrown by a Grizzlies’ arm this season (Kilkenny on May 18 vs. San Jose).