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Mendez plays hero as Grizzlies walk-off 5-4 on wild pitch against Ports

Luis Mendez tallies pinch-hit single and waltzes home on wild pitch in 9th
August 28, 2023

Fresno, CA (Sunday, August 27) – The Fresno Grizzlies (72-48, 36-18) clawed past the Stockton Ports (44-76, 19-35) 5-4 Sunday evening from Chukchansi Park. Fresno recorded five unanswered runs with the last two scoring on consecutive wild pitches in the ninth. It was the Grizzlies’ 18th comeback claws victory in

Fresno, CA (Sunday, August 27) – The Fresno Grizzlies (72-48, 36-18) clawed past the Stockton Ports (44-76, 19-35) 5-4 Sunday evening from Chukchansi Park. Fresno recorded five unanswered runs with the last two scoring on consecutive wild pitches in the ninth. It was the Grizzlies’ 18th comeback claws victory in the seventh inning or later, seventh walk-off win of the season, third walk-off on a wild pitch and second provided by Luis Mendez (both against the Ports). Fresno earned a series triumph over Stockton and moved to 23-14 in one-run games (17-7 at home). The Grizzlies improved to 36-18 (.667) in the second half (ties their 1st half win total), 39-19 (.672) in their last 58 games and 49-22 (.690) in their last 71 contests. Fresno holds a three-game lead over the Modesto Nuts in the second half standings with 12 contests to go (six versus Modesto).

The Ports seized a 4-0 advantage after a run in the second and three runs in the sixth. Myles Naylor blasted a solo shot to left-center field, his second longball of the series and third homer of the year. In the sixth, Jonah Cox laid down a bunt single and a pair of throwing errors allowed two runs to scamper home. Cox notched Stockton’s final run on a Yeniel Laboy RBI single to center.

Despite the early hole, the Grizzlies comeback claws started to appear in the bottom of the sixth. Kyle Karros ripped a single to left, adding Cole Carrigg. Then, EJ Andrews Jr. made it one-run deficit with a booming drive to left-center field. Andrews Jr.’s two-run missile was his 11th wallop of the season. Fresno had multiple chances the next two innings to take the lead, but came up empty. In the ninth, Andy Perez was beaned by a pitch to start the frame. After a popup, pinch-hitter Mendez strode to the plate. He lined a single to center and advanced to second on the throw. Perez hustled into third on the play, putting runners in scoring position with one out. With Jake Snider batting, Ports righty Carlos Guarate tossed a pitch that skipped past catcher Cooper Uhl, allowing Perez to score the tying run. On the next pitch, Guarate (4-5, loss) hurled a similar ball and Mendez came sprinting home with the walk-off and winning run.

Fresno starter Jake Madden took a no-decision after three innings of work. He allowed one clout and issued three walks, while punching out three. Sergio Sanchez worked two and one-third frames to bridge the gap to the Grizzlies backend bullpen. Carson Skipper, Carlos Torres and Zach Agnos (4-3, win) combined for three and two-thirds innings of scoreless baseball. Torres was fantastic, logging five outs, which included a double play and two big strikeouts. Stockton righty Wander Guante also did not factor in the final line after five shutout frames. Guante gave up two hits and fanned five batters. Both teams are off on Monday.

Top Performers: Fresno Grizzlies (Colorado Rockies)

  • PH Luis Mendez (1-1, R)
  • RF EJ Andrews Jr. (2-4, HR, 2 RBI, R)
  • RHP Carlos Torres (1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K)

Top Performers: Stockton Ports (Oakland Athletics)

  • 1B Will Simpson (1-2, 2B, R, 2 BB)
  • SS Myles Naylor (1-4, HR, RBI, R)
  • RHP Wander Guante (5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K)

On Deck:

Tuesday, August 29 @ Visalia Rawhide, Fresno RHP Gabriel Barbosa (7-5, 5.46) vs. Visalia RHP Casey Anderson (1-1, 5.79), 6:30 pm PT

ON THAT FRES-NOTE:

Daniel Amaral extended his hit streak to five games after a multi-hit game.