The Fresno Grizzlies (62-43) came from behind Thursday night to defeat the New Orleans Baby Cakes (40-64) by a score of 8-5 at Chukchansi Park. The Grizzlies are 27-5 since June 23 when they were 11 games back from Reno for the division lead. With a Reno loss on Thursday night, Fresno is in sole possession of first place in the Pacific North Division.
The Grizzlies took a 1-0 lead in the second when A.J. Reed led off the inning with a base hit before scoring on an Alejandro Garcia RBI single. For Reed, he is on a Triple-A career-high 10-game hit streak. After New Orleans scored two in the top of the third, Fresno was able to tie the game 2-2 in the bottom of the frame when Preston Tucker (walk) scored on a Juan Centeno (3-for-3) sacrifice fly.
The Baby Cakes took a 4-2 lead in the fourth when Christian Colon (walk) scored on a passed ball and Chris Parmelee (walk) scored on an Austin Nola RBI single. They increased their lead to 5-2 in the top of the fifth when Brian Anderson hit a solo home run to left, his third of the season.
An 11-batter, six-run bottom of the fifth put the Grizzlies in front 8-5. With no outs and the bases loaded, Garcia was hit by a pitch that allowed Jack Mayfield to score after he started the inning with a single. Tony Kemp then reached on a fielder's choice that brought home Centeno. The tying run was Max Stassi when Tucker drew a bases loaded walk. J.D. Davis then hit a sacrifice fly to score the go ahead run before Kemp scored on a passed ball. In Centeno's second at-bat of the frame, he hit a RBI single to bring home Tucker.
Tucker walked four times in the contest, the most times any individual batter has walked in a game this season. He has also walked 14 times in his last six games. As a team, the Grizzlies walked 12 times Thursday night, also the most on the season. New Orleans starter Keyvius Sampson walked six as he lasted 3.2 innings and allowed two runs (one earned) on two hits with four strikeouts. Reliever Kelvin Marte (1-5) suffered the loss as he walked four through an inning while allowing six runs (two earned) on two hits.
Fresno starter Dean Deetz allowed four runs on three hits and four walks with one strikeout through 3.1 IP. Jacob Dorris (2-0) earned the win in two innings and a third of relief. He struck out two while allowing one run on two hits without a walk. Reliever James Hoyt struck out one in the ninth to pick up his second save of the season.
The Grizzlies and the Baby Cakes will play the series finale on Friday night. RHP Mike Hasuchild will be on the mound for Fresno as they look to sweep the four-game set as the Fresno Tacos. The New Orleans starting pitcher is TBA. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.