Taxed bullpen – With starter Brad Peacock running up his pitch count quickly and lasting only three innings, the Fresno Grizzlies bullpen had to work longer than usual and it caught up to them toward the end. Reliever Kevin Chapman retired the side in the sixth and seventh innings. But when asked to go a third inning for the first time this season, Chapman faltered and gave up three runs off four hits as the Grizzlies fell 6-2 to the Tacoma Rainiers on Monday before an announced crowd of 2,771 at Chukchansi Park. The Grizzlies (37-39-1) missed a second chance to move above .500 for the season while against the Rainiers this series. Peacock allowed two runs off six hits and a walk in three innings. He threw 88 pitches, of which 56 were strikes. The game began with Peacock throwing 16 pitches to Tacoma leadoff batter Nori Aoki before the former San Francisco Giants outfielder doubled to left. Aoki, who signed with the Seattle Mariners this past offseason, was optioned to the minors late last week. Monday was his first Triple-A game.
Up next – The Grizzlies conclude their eight-game homestand Tuesday with a series finale against the first-place Tacoma Rainiers. First pitch is 7:05 p.m. Grizzlies RH Cesar Valdez (4-1, 3.71) will face Rainiers RH Zach Lee (7-5, 5.08). Valdez has allowed just two runs in his past three outings. That stretch was preceded by a 10-run, 18-hit outing in his first start of June. Lee, the former highly regarded Los Angeles Dodgers prospect who’s pitched in only one game in the majors, joined the Rainiers after the Dodgers traded him to the Seattle Mariners last week. Lee gave up five runs and seven hits in six innings during his only start with Tacoma.
Tony Kemp back – Outfielder Tony Kemp, who was optioned by the Astros last week, is expected to return to the Grizzlies on Tuesday. Kemp, 24, batted .238 (10 for 42) with four runs, three RBIs, one steal and a .340 on-base percentage in 22 games in the majors. He was sent back to Fresno after the Astros called up left-handed slugger A.J. Reed. Kemp is hitting .298 with one homer, 18 runs and 10 RBIs and a .410 OBP with the Grizzlies. Kemp last played for the Grizzlies on May 15. Players receive a three-day grace period to report when they’re sent down from the majors.
Tucker tearing it up – Grizzlies outfielder Preston Tucker, who began the season with the Astros, has hits in 16 of his past 20 games and is batting .459 (17 for 37) with two homers in his past 10 games.
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