Recap – Preston Tucker delivered the most productive night of his professional career, and newly promoted top prospects Alex Bregman and Teoscar Hernandez enjoyed dazzling debuts with Fresno as the Grizzlies pounded Salt Lake 23-3 on Thursday in the Pacific Coast League. Tucker went 5 for 6 with a double, three home runs, five runs and eight RBIs to power a 21-hit attack for defending Triple-A champion Fresno. Tucker ripped two-run homers in the first, third and eighth innings, an RBI single in the fourth and a run-scoring double in the sixth. Bregman and Hernandez, each promoted earlier in the day from the parent Houston Astros’ Double-A affiliate in Corpus Christi, each contributed four hits. Bregman doubled and singled twice, scored five runs and drove in three, while Hernandez singled twice, tripled, homered, scored twice and drove in three runs. Fresno also received a 3-for-6 performance with a home run and three RBIs from Jon Kemmer. That was more than enough support for Grizzlies starter Brady Rodgers (8-3), who allowed one earned run over five innings.
Up next – Fresno’s Triple-A All-Star RH Mike Hauschild (5-7, 3.02) will take the mound against Bees LH Nate Smith (5-2, 3.92) in the second of a four-game series at Salt Lake. First pitch is scheduled for 5:35 p.m. Hauschild has been particularly sharp over his past four starts, allowing two earned runs in 26 innings while striking out 18. On the other side, Smith was hammered in his last start against the Grizzlies on June 9, giving up six runs, four earned, on 12 hits in 5 1/3 innings in a game the Bees eventually won 12-10 in 10 innings.
Top prospects arrive – Bregman is the Astros’ No. 1-rated prospect andd Hernandez is No. 24 according to mlb.com. Bregman joins Fresno after hitting .297 with 14 home runs and 46 RBIs for Corpus Christi. Bregman has reached Triple-A roughly a year after being a first-round selection in the 2015 draft. Hernandez was hitting .305 with six home runs, 30 RBIs and 29 steals at Double-A. Hernandez was a free-agent signing out of the Dominican Republic in 2011. Second baseman Jack Mayfield, who hit .229 with two homers and 15 RBIs in 29 games with the Grizzlies, was sent to Corpus Christi.
Short trip, then home – Fresno’s seventh homestand of the season is July 4-9, with games against Sacramento and Reno. Monday’s game includes an in-game hot-dog-eating contest and postgame fireworks, with first pitch at 6:05 p.m. Tuesday marks another Taco Tuesday as well as Military Appreciation Night, with free Field Reserve tickets for all active-duty personnel. There are $5 Field Reserve tickets for anyone else with an active-duty military member.
The Fresno Bee