Rare tie – The Fresno Grizzlies ended a game in a tie for the first time in the franchise’s 19-year history Monday. The Grizzlies and Colorado Springs Sky Sox each left a runner at third base in the 10th inning before umpires called the game knotted at 6-6. A Pacific Coast League travel rule required the umpires to enforce a game curfew that prevented any innings from beginning after 2:30 p.m. The Sky Sox were scheduled to leave Fresno at 3:30 p.m. to bus to San Francisco for a Monday night flight back to Colorado. Both teams finished with 13 hits. The Grizzles’ Eury Perez hit a solo homer in the bottom of the eighth that tied the score before the announced afternoon crowd of 3,903 at Chukchansi Park. Grizzlies 1B A.J. Reed finished 3 for 5 with a double and an RBI.
Managers’ thoughts – Grizzlies manager Tony DeFrancesco was not pleased with the tie or his team’s overall performance: “It’s the first tie I’ve been involved in and it’s not a good feeling. We had a chance to win the game. We made a mistake late, early. We couldn’t capitalize.” Sky Sox manager Rick Sweet sounded more relieved: “I’m fine with it. It’s strictly for travel. They have to set these flights up six, seven months beforehand. If we miss our flight, we’d have to forfeit tomorrow and we’d have no hotel tonight.”
Bullpen issues – The Grizzlies tied it with two runs in the seventh, but the Fresno bullpen once again had trouble in the eighth as reliever Josh Fields gave up an RBI single to Yadiel Rivera as the Sky Sox took a 6-5 lead. Fresno has given up 48 runs this season in the eighth, the most of any inning by at least 16 runs. “We’ve had so many leads late that we’ve lost,” DeFrancesco said. “Bullpen’s got to do a better job. It’s costing us.”
Slam fest – Colorado Springs center fielder Michael Reed hit a grand slam in the fifth inning, marking the fourth bases-loaded home run in the four-game series with Fresno (three hit by the Sky Sox).
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Up next – The Grizzlies hit the road for their next four games against the Albuquerque Isotopes, starting Tuesday with the first pitch at 6:05 p.m. Grizzlies RH Joe Musgrove (2-0, 2.00 ERA) will face Isotopes LH Harrison Musgrave (1-1, 5.54). This will be the first time the teams will face each other this season. Last year, the Grizzlies went 13-3 against the Isotopes, including 7-1 in New Mexico.
The Fresno Bee