Wednesday recap – Fresno broke out of an offensive slump, with Jon Kemmer reaching base four straight times to highlight a 13-hit attack in a 10-8 win over El Paso to close out a four-game series and season-long 13-game road trip. Kemmer, after a flyout in his first at-bat, walked, singled, homered and doubled to help overcome a rare rough night for Grizzlies ace Brady Rodgers. Entering with a 2.67 ERA, Rodgers surrendered three in the first, including a two-run homer by ex-San Francisco Giants and Grizzlies catcher Hector Sanchez. Fresno countered with two runs in each of the next three innings. El Paso pulled within 6-5 in the fourth, but Kemmer’s three-run homer highlighted a four-run sixth. Single runs in the seventh, eighth and ninth got the Chihuahuas close, and with a run home in the final inning they had runners at first and second with one out. Brendan McCurry, who got the final out in the eighth, recovered to strike out Diego Goris and Patrick Kivlehan. Rodgers (12-3) allowed five runs (three earned) in six innings.
Up next – Pacific Coast League teams take their final scheduled day off of the regular season, with Fresno returning for its penultimate homestand of the season. The Grizzlies host Iowa and Omaha for four games each through Aug. 19, with first pitch at 7:05 p.m. Friday. Fresno is scheduled to start RH Cesar Valdez (10-1, 3.51), who has not lost since June 5. In his most recent start, he allowed nine hits in six innings at Las Vegas but emerged with the victory as the Grizzlies held on for a 3-2 win. Valdez’s season high for victories is 13, a combined total in stops at Class-A Visalia and Double-A Mobile while in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization in 2008. Iowa’s starter had yet to be posted. The Cubs are 51-68, last in the PCL’s American Northern Division.
On the move – Major league parent club Houston called up RH Jandel Gustave from Triple-A Fresno, filling the roster spot created when veteran OF Carlos Gomez was designated for assignment. Gustave – ranked No. 29 among Astros prospects by mlb.com – struck out 52 in 51 innings while going 2-2 with a 3.71 ERA and three saves in four chances for the Grizzlies. Fresno held off on making a corresponding adjustment to its 25-player active roster.
Final toll – Fresno finished 8-5 on the trip – after a 5-1 start – by splitting four in El Paso. Lack of offense had hurt, with the Grizzlies having scored six runs in their previous three games entering Wednesday. … El Paso won the season series 10-6. … Pacific Northern-leading Tacoma lost 2-0 at home to last-place Sacramento, allowing Fresno to pull back within four games with 25 to play.
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