Wednesday recap: Despite starting on short notice, Luis Cruz survived a five-walk performance by limiting the Sacramento River Cats to one run in four innings, and Robbie Grossman drove in two runs as the Grizzlies opened the Highway 99 series with a 5-2 victory before an announced crowd of 5,258 at Chukchansi Park. Cruz received the start after scheduled Wednesday starter Asher Wojciechowski got called up. Grizzlies starters have combined to allow just three runs in their past 34 innings. Grizzlies slugger Jon Singleton went 0 for 4 Wednesday and is 0 for 10 with five strikeouts since rejoining the Grizzlies this week after getting optioned from the Astros.
Grizzlies on Thursday: Amid the frenzy that is Taco Truck Throwdown — and what is expected to be a record Chukchansi Park crowd — Fresno RH Mark Appel (1-2, 4.45) was scheduled to start while coming off his best Triple-A performance. Appel, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 draft and the Houston Astros’ top pitching prospect, allowed one run and three hits over seven innings in a no-decision Saturday. Appel is expected to face Sacramento LH Ty Blach (9-9, 4.27) at 7:05 p.m.
One up, one down: After his start for the big league club Tuesday, RH Dan Straily was designated for assignment by the Astros and Wojciechowski was promoted from Fresno. In Triple-A, the 26-year-old Straily is 8-6 with a 3.65 ERA and 92 strikeouts in 982/3 innings. But in the majors, he has a 5.87 ERA in three starts. Barring a claim by another team, Straily will be reassigned to Fresno.