Winning by one – Cesar Valdez surrendered one run over seven innings and Tyler White homered for the first time since his return to Triple-A as the Fresno Grizzlies defeated the Albuquerque Isotopes 2-1 on Wednesday before an announced crowd of 2,921 at Chukchansi Park. James Hoyt supplied the finishing touches with a scoreless ninth to log his Pacific Coast League-best 17th save. Valdez, who was coming off a one-hit shutout, held the Isotopes to four hits and struck out five. Grizzlies manager Tony DeFrancesco was ejected at the end of the third inning for arguing with the home plate umpire, who had assessed Fresno outfielder Preston Tucker with an automatic strike that resulted in a strikeout. Tucker was called for a pitch clock violation for not being in the batter’s box in the allotted 20-second countdown. DeFrancesco, who also was ejected Monday in Tacoma, has been thrown out twice this season. He was not ejected through the Grizzlies’ championship run last season.
Up next – Fresno Grizzlies RH Joe Musgrove (2-3, 5.29 ERA) will face the Albuquerque Isotopes on Thursday at Chukchansi Park. First pitch is 7:05 p.m. Albuquerque’s starter had yet to be determined. Prior to his Triple-A promotion last month, Musgrove dominated Double-A – allowing just two runs over 26 1/3 innings. But his time with the Grizzlies has been up and down. The 23-year-old allowed just four earned runs in his first three starts combined then surrendered 16 over his three most recent outings, including six runs in each of his past two starts. Earlier this week, Musgrove was listed in MLB.com’s Top 100 prospects at No. 100.
Lineup creativity – With a logjam of corner infielders on the roster, Grizzlies manager Tony DeFrancesco had to get a little creative to get his biggest hitters some playing time. On Tuesday, the Grizzlies started A.J. Reed at first base, Tyler White at designated hitter, Colin Moran at third base – all in their typical positions. But DeFrancesco also started third baseman Duffy at shortstop and first baseman Jon Singleton in left field.
Duffy goes yard – Duffy hit a solo homer Tuesday to mark the first time he’s gone yard since May 28, spanning 19 games. Duffy has six home runs on the season. He’s hitting .261 with all six of his homers since his dismal opening month of April when he batted .120 (6 for 50).
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