Omaha right fielder Bubba Starling homered and drove in three runs while second baseman Jecksson Flores extended his hit streak to eleven, however Fresno designated hitter Andrew Stevenson clubbed three hits and drove in three runs in the Grizzlies’ 8-6 victory over the Storm Chasers on Tuesday night at Chukchansi Park.
The two teams swapped a first-inning run courtesy of solo homers from Omaha 3B Kelvin Gutierrez and Stevenson. Fresno, though, would strike again in the next frame with a three-spot, highlighted by C Raudy Read ‘s RBI double and RF Alec Keller ‘s run-scoring knock. Storm Chasers CF Erick Mejia would cut the deficit to two with a third-inning RBI single, yet Fresno answered right back in the fourth when Keller crushed a solo blast.
Single tallies would again be exchanged in the sixth to make it 7-3 before the Storm Chasers started their comeback effort, with Starling’s two-run homer in the eighth narrowing the margin to two. Fresno, however, answered once again via SS Wilmer Difo ‘s RBI double to left, though Mejia laced a line-drive single to cetner in the ninth to cut the Grizzlies’ advantage to two again. Mejia represented the tying run on base in the ninth, however the Storm Chasers were unable to bring another run across.
All nine Fresno batters posted at least one hit, including three knocks apiece from Stevenson (3-4, 2 R, 3B, HR, 3 RBI, BB) and Keller (3-4, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI), with Difo (2-5, 2B, RBI) adding a multi-hit effort as well. Mejia (2-5, 2 RBI), Gutierrez (2-4, 2 R, HR, RBI, BB) and LF Elier Hernandez (2-4, 2 R, 2B, 3B) all recorded two hits apiece for Omaha in the defeat. Flores extended his hit streak with a bunt single in the ninth inning to start the last-inning rally attempt.
Grizzlies starter Kyle McGowin (6.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 K) earned the victory with a quality outing, with Derek Self (1.0 IP, 3 H, R, ER, 2 K) notching his sixth save. Omaha right-hander Arnaldo Hernandez (5.0 IP, 11 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 2 K) suffered the defeat.
Following a Wednesday off day, the Storm Chasers return home to Werner Park to begin a five-game homestand with the San Antonio Missions on Thursday, June 20. First pitch of the series opener is scheduled for 7:05pm CT.