Fresno, Calif. - In his third game with the Fresno Grizzlies during his current rehab stint, Pablo Sandoval made sure to let people know he is ready. With a solo home run in each the fourth and sixth innings, Sandoval provided the in-game fireworks for the Grizzlies in their 5-4 win over the Las Vegas 51s on Friday evening at Chukchansi Park.
Even with the benefit of Sandoval's power, the Grizzlies were trailing entering the bottom of the eighth, though. Fresno staged a rally nonetheless. Todd Linden and Nick Noonan led off the eighth frame with back-to-back singles, while a Charlie Culberson groundout advanced Linden and Noonan to third and second base, respectively.
Chris Dominguez tied the game with another groundout, scoring Linden and making it 4-4. Brock Bond followed Dominguez with a single to center field, allowing Noonan to score from second and giving the Grizzlies the eventual game-winning run.
Heath Hembree threw a perfect ninth inning to record his ninth save of the season but first since May 5th at Colorado Springs.
Sandoval's home run in the fourth, a drive to right field, initiated the game's scoring and gave the Grizzlies a 1-0 lead.
The 51s jumped ahead with a run in each the fifth and sixth inning before Sandoval hit his second homer of the night in the bottom of the sixth. His second shot was a solo homer to deep center and tied the game at 2-2. Sandoval is the first Grizzlies hitter this year to hit two home runs at Chukchansi Park.
Las Vegas once again wasted no time with two runs in the seventh. Anthony Gose gave the 51s a lead with an RBI single to score Jonathan Diaz. Vladimir Guerrero hit a sacrifice fly to give the 51s a 4-2 advantage.
Conor Gillaspie cut the Las Vegas lead to 4-3 in the bottom of the seventh with a bases loaded groundout to score Bond.
Grizzlies reliever Dan Otero picked up the win, but starting pitcher Brian Burres fared well in six innings. Burres scattered six hits and allowed two runs in the no-decision.
Evan Crawford blew the save and suffered the loss for Las Vegas.
Game three of the four-game series is set for 7:05 pm on Saturday. The PCL leader in wins, Eric Hacker of the Grizzlies (9-1, 3.03), will face right-hander Andrew Carpenter (3-1, 4.14).
Courtesy: Fresno Grizzlies