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Jensen gets ugly victory

Cottonwood/SUU alum finally wins at home

SHARE Jensen gets ugly victory

By his own admission, Ryan Jensen's performance Thursday was nothing to write home about. Fresno's starting pitcher gave up 10 hits in 6 2/3 innings. He allowed four runs while striking out four and walking two.

Even so, the effort was good enough to earn a victory. And that in itself pleased the 50-plus friends and family members who gathered at Franklin Covey Field and watched the former Cottonwood High and Southern Utah University star lead Fresno to a 7-5 win over the Salt Lake Stingers.

It was a professional first for Jensen, whose career record in Salt Lake featured one loss and a handful of no decisions.

"I don't really get too nervous," said Jensen, who made his major league debut in three games with the parent San Francisco Giants last month. "I just haven't had too much success here. I just wanted to do especially good today."

Though it wasn't especially pretty, the right-hander did what he had to do in order improve his record this season to 7-1.

"He did a good job on us. When we had him on the ropes he kind of beared down and made some good pitches on our hitters and got some outs when we could have had some big innings on him," said Stingers manager Garry Templeton. "He kept the ball down and didn't give us much up in the zone to hit."

Fresno manufactured what proved to be the game-winning run in the sixth inning. A bunt single by lead-off hitter Cody Ransom got things started. He quickly stole second and eventually worked his way home on a pair of ground outs.

Two innings later, Sean McGowan belted a two-run homer near the left-field pole to ensure the Grizzlies' first win in the series.

Scott Morgan's lead-off homer in the ninth was Salt Lake's lone response. A potential game-tying blast by pinch hitter Jose Fernandez later in the inning lost its distance at the warning track.

Early on, however, the Stingers were hitting their marks. Jensen gave up RBI singles to Chris Pritchett, Jamie Burke and Nate Murphy as the Stingers claimed a 3-0 lead in the first.

It stayed that way until the fourth when Fresno ended a drought of 17 consecutive scoreless innings that was spread over three games. A two-out, three-run homer by Ransom put an end to the streak and tied the score.

Salt Lake reclaimed a 4-3 advantage on a run-scoring double by Juan Tolentino in the bottom of the fourth, but Fresno matched it in the next frame on a solo homer by Chris Magruder.

"We elevate a few pitches, and they hit them out of the ballpark. That was the key right there," said Templeton. "You can't elevate the ball in this park."

The series concludes tonight at 7. Salt Lake RHP Steve Mintz (1-2, 7.01 ERA) and Fresno RHP Luis Estrella (5-0, 3.06 ERA) are the scheduled starters.

BEE LINES: Thursday's attendance was 7,445 . . . The Stingers play host to Sacramento (Oakland A's) June 30-July 1 . . . C Angel Diaz was sent back to Double-A Arkansas after 19 days with the Stingers . . . Salt Lake's loss and an Iowa win at Calgary reduced the Stingers' lead in the PCL Central to 4 1/2 games.