Big lead blown – The Fresno Grizzlies blew a five-run lead as starting pitcher Cesar Valdez endured his worst start in nearly two months and the bullpen didn’t help either en route to a 12-7 loss to the Reno Aces on Sunday. Valdez gave up 10 hits for six runs, including two runs in the seventh when he didn’t get an out and Reno scored six runs. Fresno reliever Reymin Guaduan, who took the loss, was charged with a blown save and yielded four runs off three hits and recorded just one out. Fresno’s Colin Moran homered and finished 2 for 5 with three RBIs. A.J. Reed, Max Stassi and Chan Jong Moon each recorded two hits for the Grizzlies.
Up next – Fresno Grizzlies RH Edison Frias (0-1, 9.00 ERA) gets the start Monday against Reno Aces LH Anthony Banda (3-2, 4.33). Frias will try to redeem himself after a horrible Triple-A debut when he gave up six runs off seven hits in six innings last week. The 6-foot-1, 180-pound Frias had shined in Double-A, going 4-2 with a 2.94 ERA. His 66 strikeouts to 31 walks in 79 2/3 innings with Corpus Christi certainly could be improved. But it was the long ball that did him in during his first start with the Grizzlies after he allowed three home runs. Banda is holding batters to a .227 average over three starts since the All-Star break.
Sizzling summer – The Grizzlies finished July 19-10. They also went 17-11 in June for a .631 winning percentage over the past two months.
Catcher’s influence – Grizzlies catcher Max Stassi leads the team in catching proficiency with the staff sporting a 3.46 ERA when he’s behind the plate. The pitching staff has a 3.65 ERA when Tyler Heineman is behind the plate. Heineman has been the better run stopper, throwing out 18 of 45 runners. Stassi has thrown out only 11 of 43 runners.
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