The Fresno Grizzlies (32-23) were denied their fourth consecutive road win on Thursday night while visiting the Albuquerque Isotopes (29-26), as a two-run lead slipped away in the eighth inning. 1-1 on the trip, Fresno slipped to 15-11 on the road overall, and to 7-9 in their bevy of one-run games thus far in 2018. (29% of Fresno's 55 games this season have been decided by a run.)
Albuquerque struck first in the bottom of the third, a three-hit inning punctuated by a Raimel Tapia (3-for-4) run-scoring triple and a Stephen Cardullo (3-for-4) RBI single for a 2-0 Fresno deficit.
Still trailing 2-0 in the fifth, Derek Fisher (2-for-5) doubled and advanced to third base on a wild pitch, before scoring on a Kyle Tucker RBI groundout, cutting the Isotopes' lead in half.
AJ Reed (42) and Tucker (41) lead Fresno in RBI, and are on pace for 107 and 104 RBI, should they remain with the Grizzlies for the duration of the Triple-A season. Fresno had nine individual 100-RBI seasons in their first 20 at Triple-A, including Reed's 104 RBI last year.
In the seventh the Fresno duo of Garrett Stubbs and Fisher tied the game; a leadoff double to the wall in centerfield by Stubbs later scored when Fisher yanked a RBI single into right, for a 2-2 game. That spoiled a fine outing by Albuquerque starter Antonio Senzatela, who accepted a no-decision despite firing six one-run innings (5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB) with nine strikeouts.
The Grizzlies took their first lead later in the seventh, when Jack Mayfield (2-for-4) ripped a two-out, bases loaded two-run single into left field, scoring Fisher and Tucker (walk) for a 4-2 advantage.
Fresno starter Cy Sneed, like his counterpart, saw a fantastic outing lost in a no-decision. Going seven innings, Sneed scattered eight hits allowing just two (earned) runs, with a walk and six strikeouts. The right-hander has allowed only five earned runs in his last 27 innings pitched (22 K, 5 BB), over four consecutive quality starts.
It came apart for Fresno in the eighth. Albuquerque surged in front with back-to-back homers; Cardullo tied the game with a two-run shot, Mike Tauchman smacked the game-winner a batter later, for a 5-4 lead the 'Topes would not relinquish.
Grizz lefty Kent Emanuel (3-2) took the loss following the tough eighth inning. ABQ lefty Keith Hessler (2-1) picked up the win in relief, tossing a scoreless one and a third in the seventh and eighth innings. Southpaw Jerry Vasto notched his second save with a perfect ninth (two strikeouts), completing a 15-15 month of May for the Grizzlies.
The third of a five-game set will be Friday evening, a 5:35 p.m. PT first pitch (6:35 p.m. MT) at Isotopes Park. Probable starters are RHP Mike Hauschild (2-5, 5.03) for Fresno and RHP Jeff Hoffman (3-3, 4.18) for Albuquerque.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.