Friday recap: The Round Rock Express thought intentionally loading the bases to face Fresno Grizzlies slugger Jon Singleton was a good move. It wasn’t. At least, not for the Express. On the first pitch on his at-bat, Singleton launched a deep fly to right that allowed Jonathan Villar to tag up and score the winning run as the Grizzlies prevailed 2-1 in 10 innings Friday before an announced crowd of 11,848 at Chukchansi Park. Prior to Singleton’s at-bat, Villar drew a walk to start the bottom of the 10th and No. 3 hitter Matt Duffy drew a walk then advanced to second on defensive indifference before cleanup hitter Tyler White was intentionally walked. The left-handed hitting Singleton was 0 for 3 entering his final at-bat but had no problem skying a sacrifice fly against right-handed reliever Tanner Scheppers. Singleton now has 76 RBIs, which ranks eighth in the Pacific Coast League despite the fact he missed 39 Triple-A games while up with the Houston Astros. The former Fresno State star Scheppers (0-1, 1.00 ERA) took his first loss Triple-A this season after surrendering his first run in eight appearances with the Express. An inning earlier, Scheppers got the Express out of a jam when he in with one out and runners at the corners then quickly induced an inning-ending double play. Fresno (78-48) moved to 7-2 in extra-inning games, including 5-0 at home. Grizzlies starting pitcher Mike Hauschild lasted seven innings, striking out nine and holding Round Rock to five hits and one run in a no decision. His one costly mistake was a solo homer to Beamer Weems in the fifth that tied the game at 1-1. Hauschild (6-3, 3.42 ERA) now has put together four straight quality starts and has a 2.10 ERA in that stretch. The Grizzlies had taken a 1-0 lead in the third inning on a Duffy groundout RBI that scored Jonathan Villar.
Grizzlies on Saturday: Fresno RH Brady Rodgers (9-6, 4.53 ERA) will try to put an end to his hot-and-cold streak and string together back-to-back quality starts for the first time since mid-July as the Grizzlies and Express close out their four-game series at 7:05 p.m. In his most recent outing, the former Arizona State star tossed six shutout innings and allowed just two hits with seven strikeouts. He will face Round Rock RH Robert Coello (6-4, 3.75), who has made his past two starts with the Express after his first 11 were with Sacramento. Coello, who surrendered six runs and 10 hits in his last outing, has not pitched against the Grizzlies this season.
Stat of the day: 19-1 – Grizzlies’ record in August. However, Fresno’s division lead hasn’t changed much of late with second-place Sacramento on a 12-game winning streak. Sacramento is 15-5 in this month.