Eighth-inning collapse – Preston Tucker doubled twice and drove in two runs, and Alex Bregman continued to hit Triple-A pitching but the Fresno Grizzlies fell to the Sacramento River Cats 6-4 on Tuesday after a troublesome eighth inning. The River Cats scored three runs, all off of Grizzlies reliever Kevin Chapman to pull away with the victory before the announced crowd of 4,077 at Chukchansi Park. Sacramento’s Myles Schroeder just beat out a throw to first base to avoid an inning-ending double play in the eighth. The River Cats scored the go-ahead run on Schroeder’s fielder’s choice groundout then later added two more runs on Rando Moreno’s triple. The Grizzlies scored a run in the ninth and Bregman represented the tying run when he stepped to the plate with two outs in the ninth and a runner on first. But Bregman, who had homered four times in his first five games, grounded out to short to end the game. Bregman finished 1 for 5 with a double, logging a hit in each of his first six Triple-A games. The Grizzlies (42-41-1) missed out on a chance to be three games over .500 for the first time this season.
Up next – Fresno RH Joe Musgrove (3-3, 4.73 ERA) gets the start in the finale of the three-game series against Sacramento and will face RH Clayton Blackburn (5-6, 5.01). First pitch is 7:05 p.m. Musgrove had a rough June, going 1-2 with a 6.88 ERA in three starts. But he did end the month with a solid outing after allowing just one run over six innings and striking out seven versus Albuquerque on June 23. Overall, Musgrove still is adjusting to life in Triple-A. He was 2-1 with a 0.34 ERA in six games (four starts) with Double-A Corpus Christi to begin this season. A rough three-game stretch, in particular, when he allowed 16 runs over 16 innings, has hurt his numbers in Fresno. Blackburn, a 16th-round selection by San Francisco in the 2011 draft, was rocked in his previous two starts, giving up a combined 18 runs (16 earned) on 15 hits, including three home runs.
Amazing start – Bregman ranked 18th by mlb.com among all minor-league prospects, hit .476 (10 for 21) with four home runs, two doubles, 11 RBIs and nine runs in his first five games with the Grizzlies. Last year at this time, Bregman was freshly into his pro debut season with Class-A Quad Cities (Midwest League) following his junior year at Louisiana State. Bregman is expected to receive playing time at third base at some point, but has played only short so far in Triple-A.
Same ol’ Triple-A Giants – Sacramento (35-50), in its second year as the Triple-A club of the San Francisco Giants, owned the second-worst record in the PCL heading into Tuesday. Albuquerque was at 34-50. As the Giants’ Triple-A affiliate from 1998-2014, Fresno finished below .500 in 12 seasons, twice with a sub-.400 record.
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