Friday recap – Joe Musgrove’s sudden struggles continued as Fresno fell into a 6-1 hole after five innings and lost 10-4 in a Pacific Coast League series opener at Tacoma’s Cheney Stadium on Friday night, snapping the Grizzlies’ five-game winning streak. Musgrove, a 6-5 right-hander, gave up six hits and six earned runs in five innings. He’s given up 16 earned runs in 16 innings in his past three appearances after giving up five in 34.1 innings in his previous eight. The Rainiers, a Seattle Mariners affiliate and leader of the PCL’s Pacific North, took a 2-0 lead in the third on a home run by Boog Powell. No relation to the former Baltimore Orioles slugger, his real name is Herschel Mack Powell IV. Tacoma made it 6-1 with a four-run fifth, featuring Dario Pizzano’s two-run double and Tyler Smith’s two-run homer.
Rally falls short – The Grizzlies got back into it briefly with a three-run seventh, but only after a pitching change. Rainiers RH Joe Wieland, shelled in his two previous starts and carrying a 4-4 record and 8.29 ERA into this one, gave up one run and struck out five in six innings. Kraig Sitton took over in the seventh and was greeted by singles from Tyler Heineman, Andrew Aplin and Nolan Fontana. After a double play, Matt Duffy’s single scored two and Preston Tucker’s triple another. Reliever Blake Parker (two innings, no hits, four strikeouts) then restored order for Tacoma, and the Rainiers blew it open with a four-run eighth, highlighted by Stefan Romero’s three-run double.
Up next – Fresno RH Brady Rodgers (5-3, 2.90 ERA) faces Tacoma RH Jarrett Grube (0-0, 5.40) at 7:05 p.m. Saturday. Rodgers is the league leader in ERA and WHIP (1.04), having allowed 63 hits and eight walks while striking out a league fourth-best 66 in 68.1 innings. After posting a 5.14 ERA in April, he’s 5-1 with a 1.90 ERA in May and June combined, including 14 scoreless innings to start this month. Grube, a 10th-round pick by Colorado in the 2004 draft, is 74-60 with a 4.31 ERA in 1,215 career minor-league innings.