Fresno Grizzlies - Nick Noonan hit a two-out, two-run double in the bottom of the eighth to score the eventual game-winning runs in a 6-4 Fresno Grizzlies win over the Omaha Storm Chasers on Tuesday afternoon at Chukchansi Park. The win improves the Grizzlies to a PCL-best 26-13.
After Omaha evened the score in the top of the eighth, the Grizzlies recaptured the lead in the bottom half of the inning when Noonan hit the double down the first base line to make it 6-4 Fresno. An infield single by Eli Whiteside followed by a Justin Christian walk, all with two outs, preceded Noonan's eventual game-winning hit.
The Storm Chasers tied the game at four in the top of the eighth with two runs off Grizzlies reliever Dan Otero. Three straight singles to lead off the inning, including the final one in the sequence by Anthony Seratelli providing the first run of the frame. The following batter David Lough hit a sharp grounder to Noonan at short, who turned a double play by tagging the runner at second and forcing the runner from first.
The top of the inning appeared to be nearing its end, but a hard line drive near the top of the 13-foot wall in left field hit by Kevin Kouzmanoff drove in Lough from first for the game-tying run.
Omaha built an early lead with RBI doubles from Clint Robinson in the first and third innings. The two doubles were part of Robinson's three-hit day.
The Grizzlies went on to erase and establish their first lead of the game beginning with the third inning. Noonan's first RBI double of the game in the third kicked off three straight innings in which Fresno scored one run. Todd Linden grounded out to short to tie the game at two in the fourth, and Brock Bond plated Christian in the fifth to give Fresno the lead, 3-2.
Roger Kieschnick hit a homer to right field in the seventh to add an important insurance run at the time. It was Kieschnick's team-leading ninth homer this season.
Fresno starting pitcher Yusmeiro Petit did not factor into the decision after scattering seven hits over six innings while allowing two runs. Despite a blown save, Otero tallied the win for the Grizzlies. Jean Machi struck out two in a perfect ninth to pick up his first save of the year.
Omaha's Blaine Hardy suffered the loss, allowing two runs in 1 2/3 innings of relief.
The Grizzlies will have their second off day of the season on Wednesday before heading to Round Rock, Texas for a four-game series against the Express, Triple-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers. The last time the Grizzlies played at Round Rock was in 2010. The Grizzlies lost three out of four games against the Express back in 2010.