For most of Fresno’s Sunday night game, they didn’t do much to elicit a reaction from a sleepy Chukchansi Park crowd. A ninth inning rally got the few thousands to their feet before succumbing to Colorado Springs, 9-7 in PCL baseball action.
The game could have got away from the Grizzlies early in the game when Colorado Springs put up three runs in the first. Instead, Fresno nearly let the game get away from them late, after the Sky Sox rallied for four runs in the ninth to build a six run lead.
But, in the never say die nature of baseball, Fresno matched those four runs, with the tying run at the plate in the bottom of the ninth. However, the Sky Sox finally got Edgar Gonzalez to strike out to end the game and preserve the victory.
Grizzlies spot starter Felix Romero looked shaky in the first frame, allowing the first four Colorado Springs hitters to hit safely, giving up three runs. Fresno matched with two runs in the first, thanks in part to a lead-off home run by CF Jason Christian. It was Christian’s fifth round tripper in 22 games with Fresno this year since his Double-A call up.
Romero lasted only three innings, allowing four runs on seven hits.
Giants 2B Bill Hall started his rehab assignment for Fresno, going 2-for-3. Hall is currently on the Major League DL with cut leg that requried stitches.
The Sky Sox maintained a two-run lead headed to the ninth, where they rallied again. It seemed that Fresno’s reliever Waldis Joaquin, one of four for the Grizzlies pitchers on the night, couldn’t get anyone out. He hit lead off pinch hitter Scott Beerer. Then, Joaquin bobbled a sacrafice bunt attempt and then threw it awa, allowing Beerer to score and Alfredo Amezaga to second on the poor throw at first. A walk and strikeout later, Mike Jacobs blasted a homer, ending Joaquin’s night and giving the Sky Sox a 9-3 advantage.
Not to be outdone by the sloppy pitching in the top of the frame, it took three Sky Sox pitchers to close out the game. Blake Johnson opened the inning, and became the victim of a hit and two errors. After getting two outs, but allowing two runs, Johnson uncorked two wild pitches, allowing Max Ramirez to reach third. A walk to Christian sealed Johnson’s fate, prompting Colorado Springs manager Stu Cole to hand the ball to Keith Weiser.
Weiser, in his only batter faced, allowed an two-RBI single to Nick Noonan. Cole made the swtich again to Jim Miller who finished the game on the Gonzalez strikeout.
Clayton Mortensne, who earlier in the year defeated the Giants Tim Lincecum, went six innings for the victory.
The series closes out tonight at 7:05 p.m. The Sky Sox go for the four-game sweep. They own a 12-3 season series advanage over Fresno.