Thanks to a pair of big flies, the Fresno Grizzlies (67-49) scooted past the Albuquerque Isotopes (53-63) 3-2 Thursday night from Chukchansi Park. With the win, Fresno improved to 21-9 in the first game of a series (11-4 at home), 17-20 in one-run affairs (14-9 at home) and 47-27 when leaving the yard.
Kyle Tucker (2-for-4) pushed Fresno ahead 1-0 in the bottom of the first when he blasted a solo shot to the grassy berm in left-center. It was his third straight game with a homer and his 17th overall at Triple-A.
A Noel Cuevas (2-for-4) RBI triple in the top of the second knotted the game at one. Jordan Patterson raced around the bases to record the run.
Nick Tanielu (2-for-3) provided the Grizzlies a 3-1 advantage in the bottom of the seventh with a two-run dinger to left field. It was his second longball in as many games and his fifth of the season. He also extended his current team-high hit streak to eight games.
Albuquerque added one final run in the ninth when Garrett Hampson (2-for-4) reached on an infield single. The 3-2 victory gave Fresno their 2018 high-water mark with 18 games over .500.
Reliever Framber Valdez enjoyed the win in his Triple-A debut. He hurled the final three frames, fanning three. He threw 46 pitches with 30 going for strikes. Starter Rogelio Armenteros tossed six innings of one-run ball before handing it off to Valdez. He was charged with three hits and three walks while punching out seven. The Grizzlies upgraded to 24-5 in games pitched by Armenteros (23-5 in starts) since 2017.
Isotopes righty Jeff Hoffman (5-7) took the loss after seven strong frames. He scattered five hits, three runs (earned), one walk and six whiffs.
Yordan Alvarez (2-for-2) reached base three times and scored once in the win. With 10 strikeouts, the Grizzlies staff's season total is now at 1,105, the best in the PCL.
Both squads continue the set with game two of four Friday evening from Chukchansi Park. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PT. Fresno RHP Brady Rodgers (1-2, 6.52) and former Grizzly lefty Brett Oberholtzer (4-9, 6.33) are the probable matchup.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.