The Fresno Grizzlies began defense of their 2015 Pacific Coast League and Triple-A National Championships on a sour note Thursday night at Las Vegas, with a 6-4 season-opening loss to the 51s. A titanic two-run homer by Danny Worth in his Grizzlies debut untied a 2-2 game in the sixth, but squared at 4-4 in the bottom of the ninth, Marc Krauss turned around a two-run walk-off shot to center.
Right-hander Brad Peacock, he of 50 career Major League games (41 starts) with the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros started his second consecutive opening day for Fresno. While settling in and throwing just five innings, Peacock was often electric and struck out four consecutive Las Vegas batters to end the first and retire the side in order in the second. His final line showed just two hits, two walks and five strikeouts, both runs allowed were earned. An RBI single by Johnny Monell in the first and a solo home run by Matt Reynolds were the only blemishes on Peacock's night, which unfortunately ended in a no-decision.
Fresno wasted no time in the top of the first, when Tony Kemp drew a lead off walk. After advancing to third on a throwing error by the catcher Monell, Kemp scored on a one-out RBI groundout off the bat of A.J. Reed. The Grizzlies took a short-lived 2-1 lead in the fourth when Worth tripled to centerfield, scoring on a one-out Colin Moran sac fly. The Reynolds homer tied it briefly before Worth did him one better two innings later.
The game tightened up in the seventh with Travis Taijeron's solo homer to left field off reliever Cesar Valdez, who was also making his Grizzlies debut. Left-hander Kevin Chapman then entered and struck out both batters he faced to preseve the 4-3 Fresno lead, before Roger Bernadina led off the eigth with a solo shot just fair down the left field line, the third solo homer of the night for Las Vegas.
The fifth and final homer of the night, and the fourth for the 51s was courtesy of Krauss with two out in the ninth, off Juan Minaya, who was the fifth Grizzlies pitcher of the night. Jordan Jankowski preceded him, tossing 1.2 innings, striking out a pair. He left one runner on for Minaya before the unfortunate ending.
Notes: Jon Kemmer tripled in his first Triple-A at-bat in the second inning...Kemmer became the first Fresno player to triple in his first game with the franchise since Leo Heras last season, also at Las Vegas...the most recent player to triple in his first Grizzlies game prior to that was pitcher Dontrelle Willis in 2010...Peacock became the first Grizzlies pitcher to get the nod on consecutive opening days since Ryan Vogelsong in 2011 (won 11-1 vs. Las Vegas) and 2012 (won 3-0 at Tucson)...only three Grizzlies have started back-to-back openers in the franchise's 19 seasons; the other was Matt Palmer in 2007 (won 9-4 vs. Portland) and 2008 (lost 8-4 at Portland).
Fresno press release. None produced by Las Vegas.