Fresno, Calif. - The Fresno Grizzlies fell flat in their 2013 season opener, dropping a 9-1 contest to the Tacoma Rainiers on Thursday evening at Chukchansi Park.
The Grizzlies were out-hit 17-3 in the losing effort as seven Rainiers hitters tallied multiple hits in the contest. Endy Chavez led the way with a game-high four hits.
Chavez's double in the third inning - his only extra-base hit among his four safeties - helped ignite the game's scoring. After Nate Tenbrink flied out, Alex Liddi hit a two-run home run to plate Chavez and give the Rainiers a 2-0 lead. One batter later, Mike Zunino hit a solo shot to make it 3-0 Tacoma.
The Rainiers went on to score two and four runs in the fifth and sixth innings, respectively. The big sixth inning for Tacoma was highlighted by Carlos Peguero's two-run double that gave the Rainiers an 8-1 lead.
Peguero also had a triple in the fifth inning and was later plated on a double from Zunino that dropped in shallow right-center.
The Grizzlies lone run was courtesy of Juan Perez's line drive single that scored Roger Kieschnick, who reached with a double. It was Perez's first career hit and RBI at the Triple-A level.
In addition to Perez and Kieschnick, Brett Pill was the only other Grizzlies batter to record a hit. Pill is with the Grizzlies on an MLB Rehab assignment and went 1-for-2 with a double. He was removed from the game and replaced by Todd Linden in the top of the sixth inning.
Tacoma's starting pitcher Danny Hultzen handled the Grizzlies offense all night in a winning effort, holding them to the three hits while striking out eight and walking two.
Grizzlies starter Yusmeiro Petit suffered the loss after allowing five runs on eight hits over 4 2/3 innings. Petit struck out six and walked three. Fresno reliever Mitch Lively was tagged with four runs over 1 1/3 innings.
Game two of the four-game set between Fresno and Tacoma is set for Friday, April 5th at Chukchansi Park. Right-hander Chris Heston will make his Triple-A debut for Fresno and face Tacoma's righty Andrew Carraway. First pitch is at 7:05 PM.
Courtesy: Fresno Grizzlies