Grizzlies rack up 15 strikeouts – Starting pitcher Cesar Valdez fired 12 strikeouts over eight shutout innings and James Hoyt provided the finishing touches by striking out the side in order during the ninth as the Fresno Grizzlies blanked the Sacramento River Cats 1-0 on Wednesday to kick off their final home stand of the season. Valdez, who’s won nine of his past 12 starts and lowered his ERA to 3.06, matched Brad Peacock for the most strikeouts by a Grizzlies pitcher this season. Combined with Hoyt’s three strikeouts, the Grizzlies established a season-best 15 strikeouts in the game before the announced crowd of 4,840 at Chukchansi Park. Fresno’s Danny Worth scored in the game’s lone run on a Derek Fisher RBI single during the second inning. The Grizzlies (67-63) snapped a four-game losing streak .
Up next – Fresno LH Eury De La Rosa (0-1, 15.75 ERA) makes his second start when the Grizzlies host Sacramento in Game 2 of the five-game series that ends the home portion of their Pacific Coast League season. De La Rosa, signed out of the Independent leagues, allowed seven runs on 10 hits in four innings against Omaha on Aug. 19. The River Cats will counter with RH Joan Gregorio (4-8, 5.48), who has found the going much tougher after a five-start run at Double-A Richmond in which he went 0-2 but posted a 2.33 ERA. Gregorio is still striking out batters at a high rate, fanning 102 in 90.1 innings in Triple-A and 132 in 117.1 innings overall this season.
Stats and streaks – Rodgers, despite his rough outing, still leads the PCL in ERA at 2.91. Round Rock LH Michael Roth, who pitches again Friday, is next at 3.02. … Fisher is 8 for 22 during a current team-high six-game hitting streak. Grizzlies INF Danny Worth, after a 3-for-4 night Tuesday, is hitting .393 in his past 15 games, .354 in August and .344 overall in 71 games with Fresno, interrupted by a mid-June call-up to the Astros. … The sweep was just the second suffered by the Grizzlies this season, the other coming May 14-17 at Nashville.
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