The Fresno Grizzlies (32-33) stayed hot in the desert southwest Tuesday night, improving to 6-2 on their season-long 11-game road trip with a 10-9 series-opening win over the Albuquerque Isotopes (31-33). Fresno is 9-3 in June and has won 14 of their last 18 games. The Grizzlies led three separate times in the wild see-saw victory. In holding three separate leads, four Grizzlies drove in multiple runs and five recorded multiple hits.
Colin Moran (3-for-5, 3 RBI) opened the scoring with his 13th home run of the season, a two-run shot right field with two out in the top of the first. For Moran it was his fourth homer with 10 RBI in his last three games, after going yard twice in El Paso on Saturday and then again Sunday in a pair of Grizz wins. It was also Moran's sixth homer in his last 16 games, with 18 RBI in that span. Tony Kemp (3-for-4, 2 RBI) led off the game with a single, and he and Moran extended their current Fresno-high hit streaks to eight games apiece.
With a third inning double to right, Tyler White (2-for-3, 2 RBI) extended a hit streak to seven games, and he's batting .517 (15-for-29) during the streak with three home runs, five doubles and 10 RBI. Kemp's three hits earned him multiple hits in 24 of his 52 games, an incredible 46% of his starts. Kemp has scored 20 times in his last 17 games.
Albuquerque roared back in the third, stringing together a nine-batter, six-hit inning to take a 5-2 lead. Tom Murphy's two-run double, Mike Tauchman's two-run triple and a Noel Cuevas RBI single were the three consecutive scoring plays.
In the fourth, Teoscar Hernandez (2-for-3) scored after a two-out single, when Jon Kemmer followed and crushed a RBI double to centerfield. It was back to a three-run 'Topes lead shortly thereafter, when Murphy (3-for-5, 5 RBI) added his second RBI knock, scoring Rosell Herrera for a 6-3 lead after he doubled.
The Grizzlies drew closer in the fifth, when with two outs White walked and scored on a Derek Fisher (2-for-5, 2 RBI) opposite field double into the left field corner. Fisher then scored on Moran's RBI single lined to left, for a pair of two-out runs that made it a 6-5 game. Fisher has now hit in seven straight games himself, 16 of his last 17 and 38 of 43 games overall.
Isotopes' starter Thad Weber went five innings, allowing five (earned) runs on eight hits. He walked a pair and struck out eight. Grizzlies counterpart Casey Coleman went six innings, and also allowed eight hits. His six runs were all earned, with three walks and four strikeouts. Neither starter would factor into a decision.
A three-run Fresno sixth gave the visitors their second lead of the night. Hernandez and Kemmer led the frame with walks, before scoring on a two-out, two-run single from Kemp to right, which made it 7-6. Kemp later scored on a Fisher RBI single to center for an 8-6 advantage. Fisher re-took the sole club lead in multi-hit games from Kemp with that knock, his 25th in 60 games played (42%).
The bottom of the seventh saw Murphy continue his monster night, driving in his fourth and fifth runs of the evening with a triple to centerfield, tying the game 8-8. Albuquerque went back in front 9-8 on Tauchman's RBI single (2-for-5, 3 RBI) which scored Murphy.
Fresno took the lead for the third time and for good in the eighth, when White ripped his second double of the night into the left field corner with one out, scoring Kemp (walk) and Reid Brignac (single). Still leading 10-9 in the ninth, Jordan Jankowski breezed through a perfect ninth inning with a strikeout for his sixth save of 2017. Grizz reliever Reymin Guduan (4-3) picked up the win with two scoreless innings of relief, while reliever Carlos Estevez (0-2) took the loss allowing both runs in the eighth.
The second game of four will be Wednesday evening at Isotopes Park in Albuquerque, a 6:05 Pacific Time start (7:05 Mountain). Probable starters are David Martinez (2-3, 5.35) for the Grizzlies and LHP Ryan Carpenter (2-5, 5.65) for the Isotopes.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.