Wednesday recap – Eighth-place hitter Jack Mayfield’s fifth-inning grand slam, just his second home run in his first 65 at-bats with the team (though both in this series), accounted for all of Fresno’s scoring in a 4-3 victory over Sacramento on Wednesday at Raley Field. Mayfield hit four homers in 81 at-bats for Double-A Corpus Christi before moving up to Triple-A in mid-May. His first with Fresno came Monday, a tiebreaking three-run shot in the top of the ninth. Grizzlies relievers Chris Cotton, Kevin Chapman and James Hoyt (Pacific Coast League-high 14th save) allowed one run over the final 3.1 innings in relief of starter Brad Peacock (1-3) – finally a winner after an 0-3 start that included eight no-decisions. Fresno has won four straight.
Up next – Fresno RH Cesar Valdez (2-1, 4.79 ERA) faces Sacramento RH Chris Heston (1-7, 3.99) at 7:05 p.m. Thursday to close the four-game series. Valdez, who began the season in the bullpen, turned in the best of his five starts in his most recent outing – limiting Salt Lake to one run on six hits in seven innings Saturday. He took a no-decision in the Bees’ 4-2 victory. As a starter, Valdez has a 7.33 ERA while allowing 46 hits in 27 innings.
Heston’s tough luck – Heston was a surprise 12-game winner for River Cats major-league parent club San Francisco in 2015, including a June 9 no-hitter versus the New York Mets. But after struggling in long relief for the Giants to begin this season (1-1, 10.80 ERA in five games), he was sent back to Triple A. A rough May saw Heston go 1-5 with a 4.84 ERA with Sacramento but he has allowed just four earned runs in 13 innings across two June starts – though both wound up as losses for a team that is third from the bottom in the PCL in runs scored. A 12th-round pick by San Francisco in the 2009 draft, Heston won 19 games while pitching for Fresno in the franchise’s final two seasons as a San Francisco affiliate in 2013-14.