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Messinger mashes homer as Fresno falls 5-4 to Modesto  

Skyler Messinger: 17 HR, owns California League-best 76 RBI on the year; Grizzlies and Nuts are tied in 2nd half standings with 5 games left to play
September 6, 2023

Fresno, CA (Tuesday, September 5) – The Fresno Grizzlies (76-51, 40-21) were defeated by the Modesto Nuts (74-53, 40-21) 5-4 Tuesday evening from Chukchansi Park. The clubs now own the same record in the second half, with five games remaining in the regular season. The next team to win three

Fresno, CA (Tuesday, September 5) – The Fresno Grizzlies (76-51, 40-21) were defeated by the Modesto Nuts (74-53, 40-21) 5-4 Tuesday evening from Chukchansi Park. The clubs now own the same record in the second half, with five games remaining in the regular season. The next team to win three games over the final five contests will clinch the second half and a playoff berth against the San Jose Giants. Fresno holds the head-to-head record (14-11) and overall mark (by two games), while Modesto has won 14 straight contests. The Grizzlies and Nuts are knotted for the second-best, second half record in Minor League baseball at 40-21. Fresno is 43-22 (.662) in their last 65 games and 53-25 (.679) in their last 78 contests.

Modesto mustered a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. Brock Rodden ripped a double down the left field line and later scored on a balk. Colt Emerson lined a single to left and waltzed home on a Luis Suisbel sacrifice fly a few batters later. In the top of the fifth, the Nuts extended their advantage to 5-0. Rodden roped a two-RBI double to left-center, plating Aidan Smith and RJ Schreck. The duo of Smith and Schreck reached base five times at the bottom of the Modesto lineup. A passed ball netted Rodden to conclude the Nuts scoring.

Fresno cut the deficit to 5-3 in the bottom of the sixth when Skyler Messinger blasted a three-run bomb to left field. It was Messinger’s 17th clout of the year, one shy of the Grizzlies club-high (Ryan Ritter, 18). He has driven in 76 RBI, which leads the California League. Messinger provided the final Fresno run in the bottom of the ninth after a Bryant Betancourt pinch-hit groundout. Jake Snider reached base twice, which included a bunt single. Snider also made an unbelievable catch after colliding with Cole Carrigg in left-center field. He hit the wall and maintained control throughout the process.

Grizzlies starter Gabriel Barbosa (7-6) suffered the loss after four and two-thirds innings of work. Barbosa allowed five runs (three earned), on four hits and one walk (pitch clock violation for ball four), while striking out four. A quartet of Fresno relievers followed Barbosa with four and one-third frames of scoreless baseball. Isaiah Coupet fanned a batter and induced a double play in his Grizzlies debut. He was a fourth-round draft pick in 2023 out of Ohio State. Austin Becker and Carson Skipper combined for four punchouts in the final two innings.

Nuts righty Darren Bowen (4-2) relished the triumph after tossing six frames of three-run ball. After Bowen departed, the Modesto bullpen of Stefan Raeth (hold, 6), Blake Townsend (hold, 5) and Natanael Garabitos (save, 8) wrapped up the victory. They pooled together three strong innings, punching out a pair of batters. The series continues tomorrow night from Chukchansi Park.

Top Performers: Fresno Grizzlies (Colorado Rockies)

  • DH Skyler Messinger (1-3, HR, 3 RBI, 2 R, BB)
  • LF Jake Snider (2-3; made insane catch in LF/CF)
  • Grizzlies Bullpen (4.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 5 K)

Top Performers: Modesto Nuts (Seattle Mariners)

  • 3B Brock Rodden (2-4, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R, BB)
  • LF RJ Schreck (1-2, 2B, R, 2 BB)
  • Nuts Bullpen (3.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K)

On Deck:

Wednesday, September 6 vs. Modesto Nuts, Modesto RHP Michael Morales (5-4, 4.39) vs. Fresno LHP Michael Prosecky (11-6, 2.67), 6:50 pm PT

ON THAT FRES-NOTE:

This season, 56 of the Grizzlies 127 games have ended in one or two-run affairs (44%). Fresno is 23-15 (17-8 at home) in one-run games and 12-6 (6-2 at home) in two-run contests. Overall, the Grizzlies are 35-21 in those games with a 23-10 record at home.