BILLINGS — Tristen Carranza's fourth-inning grand slam propelled Missoula to an 8-3 victory over Billings on Thursday at Dehler Park, keeping its early grip on the Pioneer League's Northern division.
Carranza also had a sacrifice fly as part of a three-run sixth for the PaddleHeads, who entered Thursday with a five-game lead atop the division. Missoula starter Domingo Pena struck out nine in six innings to earn the victory.
Billings, which entered the day in third place and seven games back, led 3-0 early as Anthony Amicangelo delivered an RBI double in the first inning and as Billings native Jalen Garcia belted a solo home run in the third, his first of the season. Dalton Cobb also had a run-scoring triple for the Mustangs in the third inning.
Missoula later added to its lead in the eighth as Brandon Riley's sac fly scored Sam Troyer.
Billings starter Taylor Boyle took the loss. Boyle worked five innings, allowing four runs on four hits with seven strikeouts and four walks.
The Mustangs and PaddleHeads will finish their three-game Dehler Park series Friday at 6:35 p.m.