SAUGET — The Gateway Grizzlies had an ace up their sleeves and used it to get back in the thick of the playoff chase.
Grizzlies starting pitcher Tim Brown pitched into the eighth inning to pick up the win.
Gateway outfielder Jon Myers blasted a three-run first inning home run to help propel the Grizzlies to a 5-2 win over the Southern Illinois Miners onTuesday night at GCS Ballpark.
The win was the second in a row for the Grizzlies. It put them into a tie with the Miners for the final wild card spot in the Frontier League.
The Grizzlies play five of their final eight regular season games against Southern Illinois.
"This was a huge win for us," Grizzlies manager Phil Warren said. "Every game down the stretch is big and especially when we play the Miners and have a chance to pick up a game in the standings."
Grizzlies starting pitcher Tim Brown picked up the win. Brown matched his win total from 2012 with his 12th win of the season. It was his 10th win in his last 14 starts.
The St. Louis native allowed two runs -- one earned --in 7 1/3 innings. He scattered six hits and struck out six batters with no walks.
Chris McClendon started a two-out rally in the first inning with an infield single. Landon Hernandez doubled and Myers' brought both players in on his league-leading 21st home run of the season -- setting a new single-season high for the St. Peters, Mo., native.
"Jon's home run gave Tim (Brown) a big lead and if you give Tim three runs early, that's usually all he needs," Warren said.
Michael Wing drove in a run on a single in the second inning to extend the Grizzlies (48-40) lead to 4-0.
Steven Liddle got the Miners (48-40) on the scoreboard in the sixth inning with his fifth home run of the year -- a solo blast -- to make the score 4-1.
Gateway answered with another run in the bottom of the sixth on a Landon Hernandez home run, which was his 15th of the campaign.
Southern Illinois scored an unearned run in the eighth off of Brown to come within three.
"Tim was Tim tonight," Warren said. "This is what we've come to expect of him. He always gives us a chance to win."
Right-hander Justin Erasmus collected his 18th save of the season and his second in as many games.
Wing, McClendon and Hernandez, the Gateway two-three-four hitters, all recorded two-hit games.
The Grizzlies continue their nine-game homestand Wednesday night with game two of their series against the Miners. Right-hander Aaron Baker (1-4) gets the start for the Grizzlies. The first pitch is set for 6:35 p.m.