Wednesday recap – Joe Wieland, Emilio Pagan and Kraig Sitton combined on a three-hitter – two singles by Alejandro Garcia and one by Tyler Heineman – as Tacoma defeated Fresno 5-0 in the Pacific Coast League. Wieland (13-6) allowed two hits and three walks over five shutout innings. Pagano and Sitton pitched two innings each. Grizzlies starter Brady Rodgers, named PCL Pitcher of the Year earlier in the day, was pulled after two scoreless innings. Rodgers struck out four, walked one and finished with a league-leading 2.86 ERA after his final Triple-A appearance of the season. Round Rock’s Michael Roth, the closest pursuer in ERA, allowed one run in five innings of a 7-3 win over Omaha to lower his mark to 2.89.
Up next – Fresno RH David Paulino (0-2, 6.00 ERA) faces Tacoma RH Jarrett Grube (1-4, 3.92 ERA) as the teams wrap up the four-game series at 7:05 p.m. Thursday. Paulino, with the Grizzlies, has yet to live up to his status as an upper-tier prospect in the Houston Astros organization. He’s pitched nine innings across two starts, allowing nine runs (six earned) on 14 hits and four walks. Grube started the year in Cleveland’s farm system, was picked up by Seattle, and showed enough at Tacoma to earn a big league call-up to help out a tired staff in early August. That lasted one day and the Mariners this week removed him from their 40-man roster.
Back on the mound – RH Tyson Perez, the former Hanford High and Fresno City College standout, pitched in a game for the first time in since injuring his elbow last season with the Grizzlies. He worked a scoreless inning for the Gulf Coast League Astros on Wednesday. Perez, a 17th-round draft pick by Houston in 2011, was 1-3 with five saves and a 2.62 ERA for the Grizzlies in 2015, striking out 32 in 44 2/3 innings.
Closing in – The Grizzlies (70-68) need to win two of their final five games to clinch the team’s first back-to-back winning seasons since moving into Chukchasi Park. The Grizzlies posted consecutive winnings seasons in 1998-99 when they played at Fresno State’s Beiden Field.