The Fresno Grizzlies are heading to the postseason for the second time in four seasons as the Houston Astros’ Triple-A affiliate.
The Grizzlies clinched the Pacific Coast League Pacific North Division title Saturday night when they rallied for five runs in the ninth inning – the last on Kyle Tucker’s three-run homer – to beat the visiting Salt Lake Bees 7-6 at Chukchansi Park.
That gave Fresno a nine-game lead over Reno with nine games to play including Sunday night. The Grizzlies finish their final regular-season homestand with weeknight games through Thursday. The final three are against San Diego Padres affiliate El Paso, which will be Fresno’s opponent in the first round of the PCL playoffs.
That best-of-five series begins Sept. 5 at El Paso. Game 3 will be Friday, Sept. 7 at Chukchansi Park, with the if-necessary games on the weekend.
The winner advances to the PCL championship series against the PCL American winner, and that series winner goes on to the Triple-A National Championship Game. The Grizzlies were national champions in 2015, their first season with the Astros. They went to the playoffs one time in 17 seasons under the San Francisco Giants.
Through Saturday the Grizzlies had two of the PCL’s top seven home run hitters in A.J. Reed (league-leading 27) and Tucker (23).