Sports

Grizzlies reach PCL championship series with 10-1 rout in Game 5

Chukchansi Park will host the Pacific Coast League Championship Finals for the second time this week as the Fresno Grizzlies welcome the Memphis Redbirds for Games 1 and 2 on Tuesday and Wednesday night.
Chukchansi Park will host the Pacific Coast League Championship Finals for the second time this week as the Fresno Grizzlies welcome the Memphis Redbirds for Games 1 and 2 on Tuesday and Wednesday night. ezamora@fresnobee.com

Baseball season in downtown Fresno isn’t over quite yet.

Pushed to the brink of elimination, the Fresno Grizzlies broke out of a recent slump to batter the El Paso Chihuahuas 10-1 on Sunday evening at Chukchansi Park to win the series 3-2 and advance in the Pacific Coast League playoffs.

Fresno will host Games 1 and 2 of the PCL Championship Finals on Tuesday and Wednesday night against the Memphis Redbirds. First pitch for both games is 7:05 p.m. The final games of the best-of-five series will be played in Memphis.

The Grizzlies led the Pacific Conference Championship Series 2-0, only to drop Games 3 and 4 at home to El Paso on Friday and Saturday night while being held to two total runs.

Fresno spotted the Chihuahuas a 1-0 lead before tallying three runs in the third and two more in the fourth. The Grizzlies repeated the pattern with five add-on runs in the sixth and seventh.

Garrett Stubbs and A.J. Reed hit two-run homers for Fresno, while Nick Tanielu went 3 for 4 and scored two runs. Reed hit 28 homers and drove in a franchise record-tying 108 runs during the regular season.

Brock Dykxhoorn was the winning pitcher, allowing one run over five strong innings.

With Game 5 being played on short notice, the Grizzlies boosted attendance by offering free tickets. An announced 7,588 took advantage. Fans were also given free caps and Growlifornia flags.

This is Fresno’s second all-time appearance in the PCL Championship Final, both as an affiliate of the Houston Astros. In 2015, Fresno’s first year with Houston, the Grizzlies won both the PCL and Triple-A championships.

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