Third-inning explosion – Teoscar Hernandez belted a three-run double to highlight a seven-run third inning and the Fresno Grizzlies downed the Las Vegas 51s 8-1 on Friday before an announced crowd of 6,869 at Chukchansi Park. The seven runs tied the Grizzlies’ season high for runs in an inning. Hernandez added a solo home run and finished 3 for 4 with two runs and four RBIs. Grizzlies starting pitcher Brady Rodgers was his in ace form once again as the Pacific Coast League All-Star limited Las Vegas to one run off five hits in seven innings. Las Vegas’ Josh Edgin was ejected during the third inning, marking the second time during the five-game series that a 51s member was ejected (manager Wally Backman was tossed Thursday). The Grizzlies went 6-3 during their nine-game homestand.
Up next – Fresno begins its longest road trip of the season, playing the next 13 away from home. That stretch begins Saturday against Reno, with first pitch at 7:05 p.m. Grizzlies RH Joe Musgrove (5-3, 3.81 ERA) will face Aces LH Edwin Escobar (5-2, 4.83). Musgrove will be throwing on four days rest for only the third time this season and the first time while in Triple A. Major-league parent club Houston has been trying to limit the top prospect’s innings, even mixing in a pair of 13-day stretches between starts beginning in late June. Musgrove scattered six hits and a walk, allowed two runs and struck out seven in seven innings in his last outing against Albuquerque. He has allowed one or no walks in nine of his 10 starts in Triple A. Escobar, 24, played for the Grizzlies in 2014. This will be the third time he’ll pitch against Fresno this season. He allowed six runs in 8 1/3 innings in the previous two matchups.
Season winding down – After Friday, the Grizzlies have only 13 games remaining this season at Chukchansi Park – an eight-game homestand that runs Aug. 12-19 against the Iowa Cubs and Omaha Storm Chasers, then Aug. 24-28 for five against the Sacramento River Cats. The Grizzlies (56-48) entered Friday 4 1/2 games behind Tacoma in the PCL’s Pacific Northern Division.
The Fresno Bee