Breaking even in Vegas – The Fresno Grizzlies had to settle for a split against the host Las Vegas 51s on Thursday, winning the opener of the doubleheader 6-3 behind Tony Kemp’s three hits, one a homer, but dropping the nightcap 9-4 after starting pitcher Brian Holmes was touched for three runs on four hits in just one inning during his Triple-A debut. Fresno middle infielder Danny Worth, who started at first base in both games, finished 5 for 8 with two runs and three doubles for the day.
Up next – The Grizzlies have won five of their first seven games to kick off their season-long, 13-game road trip. The Grizzlies will try to keep the momentum rolling with RH Cesar Valdez (9-1, 3.54 ERA) set to take the mound against Las Vegas 51s RH Robert Gsellman (1-4, 6.44) on Friday. First pitch is 7:05 p.m. Valdez gave up six runs on 10 hits in six innings during his last start. But in three games, including one start against Las Vegas, Valdez has limited the 51s to one run and five hits over nine innings this season. The Grizzlies (62-50) are four games back of the first-place Tacoma Rainiers (66-46) in the Pacific Coast League’s Pacific Northern Division.
Back at 25 – The Grizzlies had been playing undermanned because of the recent callups by the Houston Astros, which included closer James Hoyt and starting pitcher Brad Peacock. But the Grizzlies were back to a 25-man roster with LH Holmes transferred from Double-A Corpus Christi. Holmes was 4-2 with a 3.39 ERA this season while playing 11 games at Double-A and three games in the rookie league.