Colorado Springs, Co.---Fresno (27-24) left-handed reliever Dan Runzler's (1-1) throwing error in the bottom of the eighth inning contributed to a three-run Colorado Springs (30-18) rally as the Sky Sox defeated the Grizzlies 8-6 on Sunday afternoon at Security Service Field.
The game was tied at five going to bottom of the eighth when Sky Sox first baseman Ben Paulsen reached on a fielding error by Grizzlies shortstop Juan Ciriaco. Two batters later, right fielder Greg Golson rolled a ball toward third that Fresno third baseman Juan Perez was unable to field cleanly. The play went as a hit but that moved Paulsen to second and placed Golson at first. Up next was pinch hitter Tommy Manzella, and he hit a little dribbler along the third base line, Runzler tore off the mound, picked up the ball but threw wildly past first, and that scored Paulsen and Golson, which gave the Sky Sox a 7-5 advantage. Colorado Springs would add one more run on a double by second baseman Josh Rutledge.
The Grizzlies committed four errors in the contest and have made 63 errors this season, which is tops in the Pacific Coast League. It was their third four-error game this season.
Fresno made things interesting in the top of the ninth mounting a two-out rally capped on an RBI single by catcher Johnny Monell but could get no closer despite having the go-ahead run at the plate. Logan Kensing (5) pitched the ninth to earn the save.
The game seesawed much of the way with each team leading throughout the earlier portion. The Grizzlies were down 2-1 in the fifth and struck for three two-out runs. With runners at second and third and two outs, Fresno center fielder Gary Brown delivered a broken bat single to left which scored second baseman Carter Jurica and Ciriaco. The Grizzlies picked up an additional run after Brown's hit, as two batters later, left fielder Cole Gillespie walked with the bases loaded.
But the Grizzlies could not hold the 4-2 lead as Fresno right-handed starter Chris Heston allowed two runs in the bottom of the inning. One run scored on a double play but Sky Sox catcher Matt McBride would belt a solo homer to left (9) to tie the game at four.
Left fielder Juan Perez would give Fresno a 5-4 lead in the top of the sixth on a two-out single, but Colorado Springs came back with a single run in the bottom of that inning taking advantage of a Ciriaco throwing error on what could have been an inning-ending double play.
Heston went six innings (plus), giving up eight hits, five runs (four earned), two walks, while striking out four. In addition, he hit three batters, gave up a homer, and threw a wild pitch.
Colorado Springs left-handed starter Drew Pomeranz lasted 5 2/3 innings. He allowed seven hits, five runs (all earned), four walks, and fanned five.
Right-hander Coty Woods (2-1) earned the win for the Sky Sox pitching 2/3 of an inning.
The Grizzlies, losers of three straight games, will try to avoid the sweep on Monday with an 11:35 a.m. PST start at Security Service Field. Fresno will send to the mound right-hander Shane Loux (4-2). He will be opposed by Colorado Springs right-hander Jeff Manship (3-1).
Despite being 0-3 in this series, Fresno has collected 40 hits over the first three games. The Grizzlies have achieved double digits in hits the last four games.
Colorado Springs leads the season series over Fresno 6-1.
Courtesy: Fresno Grizzlies