Saturday recap – Alex Dickerson hit a two-run home run and Ryan Schimpf added a solo shot one out later for a three-run outburst in the sixth inning as the El Paso Chihuahuas pulled away for a 10-5 PCL victory against the Fresno Grizzlies at Chukchansi Park. El Paso tacked on five in the seventh, sending 10 batters to the plate and getting two-run doubles from Dickerson, who finished with five RBIs, and Josh Satin.
Up next – Fresno hosts the last of its Sunday day games before switching to early evening starts for the summer when RH Cesar Valdez (2-0, 3.60 ERA) faces El Paso RH Aaron Northcraft (3-0, 4.68) at 1:05 p.m. at Chukchansi Park. For the rest of the season, all Sunday home games will have a 5:05 p.m. first pitch. Valdez has made two consecutive starts for the Grizzlies after 11 of his first 12 appearances were in relief. His first start of the season came May 9 at El Paso, when he allowed five runs on nine hits in four innings in an eventual 8-6 Chihuahuas victory. Valdez had been a starter the previous four years while pitching primarily in the Mexican League and started two games in nine appearances with the Arizona Diamondbacks during his lone major league call-up in 2010.
Young at heart, hot at plate – El Paso OF Manuel Margot, No. 40 on MLB.com’s list of the top 100 prospects and at 21 the youngest position player in the Pacific Coast League, entered the four-game series in Fresno on a major hot streak, along with his team. The Chihuahuas have now won six straight and 10 of 11. Margot picked up his third three-hit game in the streak Friday in Sacramento and is 15 for 32 in his past seven games, pushing his average to .304.
Aplin attacking – Grizzlies leadoff man Andrew Aplin is on a six-game hitting streak, including two three-hit games – the latest in Friday’s 3-2 loss at Albuquerque. It has helped push him past the Mendoza line, with his average rising from .199 to .244 after a 2-for-4 night Saturday. Aplin is a career .280 hitter in more than 1,700 at-bats during five minor-league seasons. He hit .275 in 233 at-bats for the Grizzlies in 2015.
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Lincecum set to start Tuesday – Yes, ex-San Francisco Giants RH Tim Lincecum remains on the Salt Lake roster; yes, he’s scheduled to make his second start for the Bees on Tuesday; and yes, Salt Lake heads next to Fresno. But no, don’t expect to see the former Grizzly (4-0 in five games in 2007) back at the Chuk. Lincecum remains on track to make just the two starts in Triple A before getting a call-up to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim next weekend to continue his comeback.
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