Grizzlies Scratch Back Into First; Jurica is a Nice Surprise

Fresno, Calif. - The Fresno Grizzlies offense exploded for 11 runs on Thursday, beating the Sacramento River Cats 11-5 in the series finale at Chukchansi Park. Fresno tallied 15 hits, including three home runs, as each Grizzlies hitter recorded at least one base hit.

Jackson Williams hit two home runs, his first two-homer game since June 20, 2012 at Sacramento. The first homer by Williams was on the front end of back-to-back jacks with Juan Perez. His second roundtripper was hit in the bottom of the eighth as part of a three-run frame. Williams finished the game 3-for-4 with a triple to go along with his two home runs.

Fresno starting pitcher Shane Loux did not allow a hit until the 12th{}batter he faced. He finished the game allowing four runs on five hits over six innings in the winning decision. He walked three and did not strike out a batter.

Fresno, which managed just three runs in their last two games, had two runs through the top of the first inning. Perez and Gary Brown led off the Grizzlies lineup with back-to-back hits. Brown's ground-rule double advanced Perez to third base before Cole Gillespie made it 1-0 with a sacrifice fly. Roger Kieschnick followed up by driving in Brown with a single.

Kieschnick drove in his second run of the game on an infield single in the bottom of the third. Brett Pill capped the two-run inning with an RBI double that scored Kieschnick. The double extended Pill's hitting streak to 13 games, which matches Kieschnick for the longest hitting streak by a Grizzlies hitter this season.

After the River Cats scored two runs in the top of the fourth inning, Fresno recovered both runs in the bottom half of the frame. After Williams left the yard, Perez hit the first pitch he saw completely out of the ballpark as well. It was the second time the Grizzlies have hit back-to-back home runs this season.

Chris Dominguez singled through the hole into left field to score Pill and make it 7-2 Grizzlies in the fifth.

Scott Moore struck for a two-out, two-run home run in the top of the sixth to narrow Fresno's lead to 7-4. Moore's roundtripper was barely fair as it snuck around the right field foul pole.

Williams scored in the sixth inning after he tripled into right field and was driven in by Gillespie's only hit of the game. Gillespie went 1-for-3 with two RBI and a walk.

Carter Jurica hit a two-run single with the bases loaded in the eighth inning that made it 11-4 Fresno.

In addition to Williams, four other Grizzlies - Perez, Brown, Kieschnick, and Jurica - each had multi-hit efforts. The two hits for Brown helped him snap a hitless streak of 19 at-bats.

Jake Dunning turned in 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief for the Grizzlies. Dan Runzler allowed one run on two hits and two walks in 1 1/3 innings.

Andrew Werner suffered the loss for Sacramento. He surrendered seven runs on 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings.

The win brings the Grizzlies back into a tie for first place with Sacramento in the Pacific Southern Division.

The Grizzlies will take on the Colorado Springs Sky Sox on Friday to start a four-game series at Chukchansi Park. Left-hander Michael Kickham, who is looking to halt his personal three-game losing streak, will face Sky Sox right-hander Chris Volstad.

Courtesy: Fresno Grizzlies