San Bernardino, CA (Thursday, July 27) – The Fresno Grizzlies (56-37, 20-7) powered past the Inland Empire 66ers (50-40, 17-10) 12-3 Thursday evening from San Manuel Stadium. Fresno improved to 20-7 in the second half, 23-8 in their last 31 games and 33-11 in their last 44 contests. The Grizzlies
San Bernardino, CA (Thursday, July 27) – The Fresno Grizzlies (56-37, 20-7) powered past the Inland Empire 66ers (50-40, 17-10) 12-3 Thursday evening from San Manuel Stadium. Fresno improved to 20-7 in the second half, 23-8 in their last 31 games and 33-11 in their last 44 contests. The Grizzlies moved to 15-6 in July, 36-7 when scoring first and 6-3 against the 66ers in 2023. Since July 18, Fresno has alternated wins and losses over their last nine games. The Grizzlies have not lost back-to-back contests since May 29-June 2 at San Jose (they lost four straight then).
Fresno’s offense scored 12 runs on 15 hits, six walks and three hit-by-pitches. Nine of the Grizzlies 10 batters enjoyed a hit with the middle part of the lineup notching eight of the 15 hits. Fresno tallied two runs in the third and another 10 runs in innings 5-7. The Grizzlies brought 10 batters to the plate in a four-run fifth. Fresno added three runs in both the sixth and seventh frames. Skyler Messinger led the charge with a career-night, reaching base four times. Messinger crushed two clouts, both three-run shots, giving him 12 homers on the season. He now leads the California League with seven longballs in the month of July. Messinger became the fourth batter (Ryan Ritter, Jamari Baylor and EJ Andrews Jr.) and fifth instance (Ritter, twice) in 2023 to blast two bombs in a single game. He drove in seven RBI, the most by a Grizzlies individual batter this season.
Besides Messinger, a plethora of other Grizzlies batters relished outstanding games. Bryant Betancourt provided a career-high three hits and a trio of runs. Betancourt has eight hits in the series so far, with back-to-back games collecting three hits. Over seven games versus Inland Empire, Betancourt is batting .478/.625/.652/1.277 with four doubles, eight walks, six RBI and five runs. Jake Snider waltzed home three times as well after a single and two walks. Snider also reached on two fielder’s choices, extending his hit streak to three games. Parker Kelly started the fun with a two-RBI triple to center in the third and mustered a bases-loaded HBP in the fifth. His three RBI were a career-high. Dyan Jorge and Luis Mendez each grabbed a double, later scoring in the frame. Mendez provided two hits in the victory. Andy Perez supplied two hits, one RBI and one run while Kody Huff reached base four times. Huff walked twice, was beaned once and swatted a single. Jean Perez whacked a pinch-hit single as well.
The Grizzlies offensive explosion was matched by the pitching staff. Starter Connor Staine (7-4, win) tied a career-high with six innings of work. Staine allowed three runs on five hits and one walk while striking out five. All three runs and four of Staine’s five hits permitted came in his last frame. Sergio Sanchez tossed two scoreless innings and Braxton Hyde hurled a clean ninth with two punchouts. 66ers righty Fernando Guanare (3-2) took the defeat after four frames of four-run ball. Jadiel Sanchez roped a double, one of seven Inland Empire hits. Nolan Schanuel was not retired on the night, going 3-for-3 with a run and walk. The clubs are back to battle tomorrow evening from San Manuel Stadium.
Top Performers: Fresno Grizzlies (Colorado Rockies)
- DH Skyler Messinger (3-4, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 2 R, BB)
- 1B Bryant Betancourt (3-5, 3 R, BB)
- RF Parker Kelly (1-4, 3B, 3 RBI, HBP)
Top Performers: Inland Empire 66ers (Los Angeles Angels)
- 1B Nolan Schanuel (3-3, R, BB)
- RF Jadiel Sanchez (1-3, 2B, RBI)
- DH Kevin Watson Jr. (1-3, R)
Friday, July 28 @ Inland Empire 66ers, Fresno LHP Caleb Franzen (2-3, 4.80) vs. Inland Empire LHP Leonard Garcia (3-3, 5.55), 6:35 pm PT
ON THAT FRES-NOTES:
The Grizzlies 2-3-4 batters in their lineup reached base successfully in three straight innings (5-7). Jake Snider earned a bases on balls in the fifth and seventh, while ripping a single in the sixth. Bryant Betancourt laced singles in the fifth and sixth while walking in the seventh. Skyler Messinger spanked a single in the fifth while homering in the sixth and seventh (both 3-run shots). Messinger had all seven RBI in those frames.
The Grizzlies and Vancouver Canadians are the first two MiLB teams to reach 20 wins in the second half.