The Sky Sox bullpen couldn’t quiet the Grizzlies bats as the Sox lost 9–7 in front of 4,668 fans at Security Service Field Friday night.
The Sox came out blazing as they peppered Fresno starter Billy Sadler for four straight hits after Eric Young Jr. struck out to begin the inning. Kenny Perez got one of the hits, a 2-run single driving in Mike McCoy and Matt Miller. Dan Ortmeier would bring Perez home on an RBI triple giving the Sox a 3-0 lead. Sadler would be pulled before the first inning came to a close lasting only1/3 of a inning surrendering three runs on four hits and striking out one.
Sky Sox starter Franklin Morales looked good after throwing 3 1/3 innings giving up only one run on two hits and striking out five. The Grizzlies didn’t get things rolling until the Sox bullpen took over. Reliever Matt Wilhite took over for Morales closing out the fourth inning, but allowed two runs in the fifth as right-fielder John Bowker slammed a 2-run homer to right closing the gap to 5-3 in the Sox favor. The Grizzlies would keep things rolling in the sixth as they added four runs, two of them charged to Wilhite and two charged to Scott Munter (2-2) as he allowed a three run shot from center-fielder Eugenio Velez, who recorded his first home run of the season giving the Grizzlies the lead 7-5. Fresno wasn’t done, however, as it added two more in the seventh when shortstop Juan Ciriaco smacked a two-run double to left, giving Fresno a comfortable 9-5 lead. Ciriaco would finish the night going 2-for-4 with four RBI.
The Sky Sox tried to make it interesting at the end as Perez destroyed a ball to center field for a two-run jack, bringing the Sox within two, but Fresno’s closer Geno Espineli eventually shut the Sox down in the ninth as he got Chris Frey to pop out to Ciriaco at short giving the game to the Grizzlies 9-7.
The Sky Sox will travel to Sacramento to take on the River Cats tomorrow night at 7:05 PM PT where right-hander Alan Johnson (5-2, 6.00) of the Sox will take on righty James Simmons (2-3, 5.69) of the River Cats.