Luis Cruz, one of four left-handed pitchers for the Fresno Grizzlies, will take the mound for Sunday’s series finale against Las Vegas 51s RH Tyler Pill. First pitch is 2:05 p.m. The 5-foot-9, 205-pound Cruz, who is on the Houston Astros’ 40-man roster, went a combined 8-8 with a 3.68 ERA last season while playing 21 games in Double-A and five games at Triple-A.
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•On the horizon:
The Grizzlies will begin a four-game series with the Salt Lake Bees (a Los Angeles Angels affiliate) on Monday. The Bees opened their season at Sacramento. Fresno then will hit the road for eight games, playing the same two teams they opened with on the homestand.
The Grizzlies suffered their first loss of the season after starting pitcher Alex White was roughed up for four runs off six hits and three walks en route to a 7-2 loss to the Las Vegas 51s on Saturday at Chukchansi Park. Former Fresno State star Danny Muno moved up to leadoff for the 51s and batted 2 for 5 with an RBI and Las Vegas teammates Brandon Allen and Alex Castellanos each homered. Houston Astros pitcher Josh Field, who is on a major league rehab assignment with the Grizzlies, gave up one run off one walk while pitching the eighth inning. Matt Duffy supplied the Grizzlies’ top highlight. Playing third, he made a diving stop of a grounder then fired a throw to first base for an out during the eighth inning. Offensively, the Grizzlies were held to just three hits, their lowest total in the young season. White, a 2009 first-round pick by the Cleveland Indians, had a troubling Grizzlies debut. White has been trying to reclaim velocity he lost after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2012. He also missed most of 2011 because of a finger injury. White, prior to this start, said he felt good physically but needed some time to rediscover his form. “It’s been a process trying to get back to where I was,” White said. “It’s not going to happen overnight. I’m going to have to be patient.”
•Stat of the day:
The Grizzlies might not have been able to get off to a 3-0 start, but they are drawing well at the gates to being their first season as the Houston Astros‘ Triple-A club. The Grizzlies lead the Pacific Coast League in attendance, drawing an announced crowd of 10,003 on Saturday — after 9,543 on Friday and 12,090 for the opener.