These Fresno Grizzlies can hit.
There is 20-home run potential up and down the lineup, and it’s the biggest change for the Grizzlies on the field since their affiliation switch from the San Francisco Giants to the Houston Astros.
And these Grizzlies provided further proof of that Monday night, brushing off a six-run deficit in the opening inning with an eight-run third en route to a 9-8 win against the Salt Lake Bees before an announced crowd of 3,006 at Chukchansi Park.
“When we’re all on our game, there are crazy things that we’re capable of,” said Grizzlies first baseman Jon Singleton, who finished 1 for 3 with a homer.
It was Singleton who tied the game at 6-6 in the third when he beat Salt Lake’s defensive shift toward right by launching a three-run shot over the right-field wall.
It was Singleton’s first home run after hitting 14 homers in Triple-A and 13 in the majors with the Astros last season.
Teammate L.J. Hoes provided the go-ahead runs in the third with a two-run single, the last of seven hits in the inning. The Grizzlies finished with nine hits.
The eight runs in that one inning topped anything the Grizzlies produced last season while working within a Giants farm system that was more geared toward developing pitchers.
Before Monday, the last time the Grizzlies scored eight in an inning was April 19, 2012. Last year’s Grizzlies did come back from six runs once.
But unlike a year ago when Adam Duvall supplied the majority of the Grizzlies’ pop, these Grizzlies have showcased power throughout the lineup.
In addition to Singleton hitting a home run Monday, right fielder Domingo Santana cranked an opposite-field, solo homer over the right-center wall in the sixth inning for his first homer of the year.
Santana finished 2 for 3 with three runs scored and two RBIs. He hit .296 with 16 home runs at Triple-A last year.
“We have a really good lineup,” Santana said. “We have a lot of hitters who can hit it out of the ballpark and change games.”
On Sunday, third baseman Matt Duffy provided a moon-shot homer to left for his first home run of the season. Outfielder Preston Tucker and shortstop Nolan Fontana also homered this season.
The Grizzlies found themselves in a big hole early with starting pitcher Brady Rodgers on the mound.
He was the last player on the Grizzlies season-opening roster to make his season debut, and the rust showed.
Rodgers, a 2012 third-round pick, allowed six runs off of seven hits in the first inning alone, four of which went for extra bases. During one stretch, Rodgers surrendered six straight hits.
Starting pitcher Brad Peacock was recalled by the Astros. Peacock started the season on a major league rehab assignment due to offseason hip surgery. Pitcher Asher Wojciechowski will join the Grizzlies.