Monster rally – Down two runs heading into the final inning, the Fresno Grizzlies exploded for a season-high eight runs in the ninth to rally for a 10-4 victory Saturday against the Reno Aces and kick off a 13-game trip. A.J. Reed drove in the go-ahead runs with a two-run single with the bases loaded against Aces reliever Silvino Bracho, who was pitching for the second consecutive night and the third time in the past four days. Nine Grizzlies batted before the Aces finally made an out. The Grizzlies scored 10-plus runs for the sixth time this season. Grizzlies cleanup hitter Teoscar Hernandez went 3 for 5 with a double, triple and three RBIs. Moon was 3 for 5 with one run and one RBI. Reed and Tony Kemp each finished 2 for 5.
Friday recap – Hernandez belted a two-run double to highlight a seven-run third, and the Grizzlies beat Las Vegas 8-1 before an announced crowd of 6,869 at Chukchansi Park. The seven runs tied the Grizzlies’ season high for an inning. Hernandez added a solo home run and was 3 for 4 with two runs and three RBIs. Fresno ace Brady Rodgers (10-3) was in his PCL All-Star form, limiting Las Vegas to one run on five hits in seven innings. Las Vegas reliever Josh Edgin was ejected from the bullpen in the third, marking the second time in the five-game series that someone from the 51s was ejected (manager Wally Backman was tossed Thursday). The Grizzlies finished 6-3 on the homestand.
Up next – Fresno is amid a critical four-game series at Reno, with both in contention for the Pacific Coast League’s Pacific Northern crown. Tacoma (62-44) leads, but the Aces (59-47) and Grizzlies (57-48) remain close as they meet for the final time this year. Fresno RH Cesar Valdez (9-1, 3.20 ERA) will get the start against Reno RH Matt Buschmann (7-7, 5.10) in Game 2 at 6:05 p.m. Sunday. Valdez ranks third in the PCL in ERA and is tied for second with a 1.09 WHIP. He has won seven of his past nine starts and has not suffered a loss since June 5. Aces Ballpark, in the high altitude of Reno, has been unkind to the Grizzlies. Dating to last season, Fresno has allowed 77 runs in 12 games – an average of 6.42 per game. Buschmann is 2-1 with a 3.66 ERA since the Triple-A All-Star break.
Reed’s post-Astros stats – Entering Saturday, Fresno’s Reed was 10 for 26 (.385) with three home runs, two doubles and nine RBIs since his demotion from the Houston Astros. For the season, Reed was at .278 with 14 homers and 45 RBIs in 67 games with the Grizzlies.
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Starting pitching change – Pitching prospect Joe Musgrove was scratched from his start Saturday, about three hours before the game. Jordan Jankowski, who has one start in 38 appearances this year, took the ball. It was unclear why Musgrove was pulled.
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