Taco Truck Throwdown thriller – Playing before the second largest crowd in Chukchansi Park history on Taco Truck Throwdown night, Colin Moran delivered a walkoff single to score Alejandro Garcia from second base in the bottom of the 11th and the Fresno Grizzlies escaped with a 2-1 victory over the Omaha Storm Chasers at Chukchansi Park. Taco Truck Throwdown, in its sixth year, attracted an announced crowd of 14,651. Only last year’s Taco Truck Throwdown bested Thursday’s attendance when the event helped set a stadium record of 16,916. The Grizzlies snapped a five-game losing streak. Garcia finished 3 for 5. Fresno starting pitcher Cesar Valdez fired out nine strikeouts while allowing one run in seven innings. El Premio Mayor won the Taco Truck Throwdown for the second straight year.
Up next – Fresno will send LH Eury De La Rosa (0-0, 0.00 ERA) against Omaha LH Mike Minor (0-4, 5.28) in Friday’s series finale at Chukchansi Park. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. It is De La Rosa’s debut with the Grizzlies and in the farm system of major-league parent club Houston. His contract was purchased by the Astros from the Atlantic League’s Long Island Ducks, an Independent club. De La Rosa pitched in 44 games in relief for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2013-14. With the Ducks, the 26-year-old went 3-4 with a 3.26 ERA in 39 appearances, including four starts, striking out 60 in 47 1/3 innings. Minor, 38-36 in five major-league seasons with Atlanta from 2010-14, allowed three runs (two earned) while striking out six and walking four in a 3-1 loss last week at Sacramento.
Wednesday recap – Grizzlies ace Brady Rodgers was limited to four innings after he was hit by a comebacker off his foot and left the game as the Storm Chasers picked up a 4-3 victory before an announced crowd of 4,274. Rodgers, who entered with the best ERA in the Pacific Coast League, fell to the ground after he was hit by the batted ball at the start of the fourth. He finished the inning but did not return. The Arizona State product gave up two runs on six hits and a walk. At the plate, the Grizzlies were 3 for 16 with runners in scoring position. Fresno newcomer Yulieski Gurriel, who went 3 for 4 with a home run in his Triple-A debut Tuesday, finished 0 for 4 with two strikeouts. Colin Moran highlighted Fresno’s offensive production, going 2 for 4. Jon Singleton gave the Grizzlies a 1-0 lead with a first-inning groundout. The loss was the fifth straight for Fresno (66-58), with the Grizzlies off to a 1-5 start on the homestand.
Keeping it close – The Grizzlies played their 36th one-run game of the season Wednesday, meaning 29 percent of their season total have been tight contests. It is a frequent trend at home, with 35 percent at Chukchansi Park decided by one run. The Grizzlies have a winning edge in one-run games, going 21-15 overall and 14-9 at home.
The Fresno Bee