The Fresno Grizzlies (25-16) clawed past the El Paso Chihuahuas (20-21) 9-7 Thursday night from Southwest University Park. J.D. Davis (4-for-4) became the headline after he hit for the cycle with a bomb in the ninth. He drove in five runs, crossed the plate twice and walked once. Tyler White (2-for-3) continued his hit streak to 11 games (team-high) and has reached base in all of his 38 games played this season.
Fresno clawed out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first when Davis laced a two-run triple into the right field corner. He would waltz home on a ground ball to second base by AJ Reed (2-for-5). Jon Kemmer (2-for-5) extended the advantage to 4-0 in the top of the third when he stroked a ground rule double to the right field bleachers.
Dusty Coleman cut the deficit in half in the bottom of the third after he destroyed a pitch to left field. His sixth big fly of the season made it 4-2. Coleman's homer was the only support for starter Chris Huffman (no-decision). He went three innings, allowing six hits, four runs (earned), walking three and striking out three.
Davis bumped the lead to 5-2 in the top of the fourth after a single to right plated Kyle Tucker. In the top of the sixth, Davis drove home another run with a double that split the gap into right-center. The 6-2 advantage finished the night for Grizzlies' starter Josh James (no-decision). He lasted five frames, scattering three hits, two runs (earned), walking two and punching out 10 in his second Triple-A outing.
El Paso knotted the game up in the home half of the sixth after RBI doubles by Hunter Renfroe and Shane Peterson. Then, Allen Craig belted a two-run blast to right-center, making it 6-6. It was his sixth clout of the season.
Antonio Nunez took matters into his own hands, doubling to start the top of the eighth. He would scamper home two batters later when Tucker grounded out softly to the pitcher. His first three-hit game of the season gave Fresno a 7-6 lead. He also extended his hit streak to six games.
In the top of the ninth, Davis finished his night with a shot to left field. This would allow him to become the third player in Grizzlies' history to hit for the cycle. His fourth mash of the year was followed by a Reed wallop. The back-to-back home runs was the second time that Fresno completed the feat (April 6th at Reno). It was Reed's sixth hammer of the season.
The Chihuahuas trailed 9-6 heading to the bottom half, but the deficit was too much to overcome. Despite giving up one run, Brendan McCurry notched his seventh save of the season.
Fresno reliever Matt Ramsey picked up his second win and Colten Brewer suffered his third loss for El Paso. With the win, the Grizzlies improve to 9-2 in the first game of the set.
Both teams continue the four-game series with game two Friday night from Southwest University Park. Fresno RHP David Paulino (0-0, 4.85) toes the rubber against fellow El Paso righty Jesse Scholtens (0-1, 2.70). First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 PT.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.