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The Salt Lake Bees' game was a bummer from the beginning Friday night.
After former American League MVP Josh Hamilton was a late scratch, four Fresno pitchers struck out 14 batters during a 7-3 victory at Smith's Ballpark.
Down from the parent Los Angeles Angels on injury rehab, Hamilton was removed from the lineup when he experienced discomfort in his surgically repaired thumb after batting practice.
Hamilton was 2 for 4 in his Bees' debut on Thursday night but, in the ninth inning, he was jammed by a fastball and grounded out.
"That last at-bat ... didn't feel good," said Salt Lake manager Keith Johnson. "So we decided to take a precaution."
Originally, Hamilton planned to play three games for the Bees before returning to the Angels in time for a 10-game road trip, starting Monday night at Seattle.
Asked if Hamilton's schedule remains the same, Johnson said, "It's one of those things where we're going to see how he feels and go from there. But I'm not sure about the timeline. That's out of my pay-grade."
In Los Angeles, Angels manager Mike Scioscia told MLB.com, "We'll take it one day at a time. No need to rush him, though."
In the opener of a four-game Pacific Coast League series against Fresno, the Bees struggled offensively.
Salt Lake managed three hits into the seventh inning off Edwin Escobar, who was only 1-2 with an earned run average of 7.23 in his previous five road starts this season.
"Their starter did a good job of hitting his spots," Johnson said. "He was consistently hitting his spots in the zone. He worked both sides of the plate. He kept our guys off balance. You have to tip your hat to him. He did a great job."
Fresno took a 1-0 lead against Salt Lake starter Brooks Raley in the top of the third.
After the first two batters struck out, Joe Pankik was hit by a pitch. He scored when Juan Perez doubled off the fence in left center.
The Grizzlies bumped their lead to 4-0 in the fourth.
With the bases loaded and two out, Gary Brown drilled a two-run single up the middle. Pankik followed with an RBI single.
The Bees finally broke through in the seventh, snapping their string of scoreless innings at 152⁄3.
With two out, Roberto Lopez walked and Fresno manager Bob Mariano replaced Escobar.
Shawn O'Malley greeted reliever Mitch Lively with a double to right, which moved Lopez to third. Both runners scored on Anderson De La Rosa's double.
Erik Komatsu followed with another RBI double to make it 4-3, forcing Mariano to go to his bullpen again. This time, however, the pitching change worked. Dan Runzler fanned J.B. Shuck to preserve the narrow lead and, eventually, the Grizzlies' sixth victory in the last eight games.
Grizzlies 7, Bees 3
O Fresno starter Edwin Escobar scatters three hits in 62⁄3 innings and the Grizzlies defeat the Bees.
• Former MVP Josh Hamilton, in Salt Lake on injury rehab from the parent Los Angeles Angels, does not play.
American North Division
W L Pct. GB
Oklahoma City 27 22 .551
Iowa 24 21 .533 1
Colo. Springs 23 24 .489 3
Omaha 22 25 .468 4
American South Division
W L Pct. GB
Nashville 26 23 .531
Round Rock 23 24 .489 2
Memphis 23 25 .479 2½
New Orleans 22 26 .458 3½
Pacific North Division
W L Pct. GB
Sacramento 27 20 .574
Reno 28 21 .571
Fresno 25 24 .510 3
Tacoma 20 24 .455 5½
Pacific South Division
W L Pct. GB
Las Vegas 32 15 .681
Albuquerque 22 26 .458 10½
El Paso 20 27 .426 12
Salt Lake 16 33 .327 17
New Orleans 6, Nashville 3
Colorado Springs 10, Iowa 2
Oklahoma City 12, Memphis 10
Omaha 3, Round Rock 2
Fresno 7, Salt Lake 3
Reno 8, Albuquerque 3
Sacramento at Las Vegas, late
El Paso at Tacoma, late
Nashville at New Orleans, 5 p.m.
Oklahoma City at Memphis, 5 p.m.
El Paso at Tacoma, 6 p.m., 1st game
Colorado Springs at Iowa, 6 p.m.
Round Rock at Omaha, 6 p.m.
Fresno at Salt Lake, 6:35 p.m.
Reno at Albuquerque, 7 p.m.
Sacramento at Las Vegas, 8 p.m.
El Paso at Tacoma, 8:35 p.m., 2nd game