Home finale – In the final game at Chukchansi Park this season, the Fresno Grizzlies coughed up a five-run lead then failed to deliver twice in key spots en route to an 8-6 loss to the rival Sacramento River Cats on Sunday. The Grizzlies, who led by as much as 6-1 after four innings, found themselves down two runs in the eighth. Fresno placed runners on first and second with one out. But Alejandro Garcia hit into an inning-ending double play. Then in the ninth, the Grizzlies positioned runners at the corners with two outs for Tyler White, who has spent the majority of this season in the majors. But White popped up in foul territory to end the game. The Grizzlies drew 10,000-plus for the third straight game and ended their home schedule with an announced crowd of 10,734. Max Stassi hit a three-run homer for the Grizzlies, his seventh on the year. And Danny Worth finished 3 for 4 with two doubles and two runs. Grizzlies pitcher Keegan Yuhl again struggled while making his fourth start in Triple-A. He gave up six runs off nine hits, including three home runs, while lasting 5 1/3 innings. Yuhl, who spent most of the season in Double-A, has a 9.74 ERA in in 20 1/3 innings in baseball’s highest minor-league level. Sacramento finished with 14 hits and received home runs from Austin Slater, Miguel Olivo and Juan Ciriaco.
Up next – The Grizzlies will wrap up the season on the road with an eight-game trip. Though seven games backand in third place in the Pacific Coast League’s Pacific Northern Division, the Grizzlies (69-66) technically aren’t eliminated from playoff contention, and they could make things interesting if they sweep the first-place Tacoma Rainiers (76-59) the next four games. The first pitch of the series opener is 7:05 p.m., with Grizzlies ace RH Brady Rodgers (12-4, 2.91 ERA) set to face Rainiers RH Zach Lee (7-12, 5.88). Rodgers has been lights out most of the year but has struggled in August. For the month, Rodgers is 2-1 with a 4.43 ERA while allowing a .330 average with three home runs in his past 22 1/3 innings over four starts.
Three to go – The Grizzlies need to win three of their final eight games to secure their first consecutive winning seasons since moving downtown to Chukchansi Park in 2002.
The Fresno Bee