With relentless and timely hitting, the Oklahoma City RedHawks scored early and often Thursday night to defeat the Reno Aces, 9-4, at Aces Ballpark.
The RedHawks used a 15-hit attack, including an 8-for-13 effort with runners in scoring position, to take a 2-1 lead in the four-game series.
Oklahoma City got on the board in the top of the first on an Enrique Hernandez double and a two-out RBI single by Domingo Santana. Hernandez crossed the plate three times on the evening to pace the RedHawks, who scored in five of the nine innings.
Reno picked up a pair of runs in the fourth on a two-out double down the left field line by Nick Ahmed to make the score 6-2. Aaron Cunningham’s sacrifice fly in the sixth brought the Aces back within four, and Alfredo Marte’s seventh-inning solo homer inside the right field foul pole capped Reno’s scoring on the evening.
Tyler Bortnick had to be carried off the field a night after driving in three and scoring the winning run. The second baseman sustained an injury in the fourth while making a stop on a ground ball in short right field, ending his four-game hitting streak.
Aces starter Bo Schultz (4-5) was chased out of the game after giving up seven runs (six earned) on 11 hits through 5 1/3 innings. He was relieved by Joe Paterson, who gave up an inherited runner before surrendering two more of his own in the seventh. Eric Brooks, making his first Aces home debut, pitched a perfect ninth.
Oklahoma City’s Bobby Doran (2-4) picked up his second win of the season, giving up two runs on seven hits and three walks through five innings of work.
Nick Evans reached base in all five of his plate appearances in the game, collecting three singles and walking twice. Four other Aces had multi-hit nights, but Reno had trouble collecting timely hits. As a team, Reno was 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position, hitting into three double plays and stranding 11 baserunners.
The two clubs will meet again tomorrow evening for the final game of the series. Zeke Spruill (3-3, 5.86 ERA) will take the mound for Reno, and Oklahoma City will counter with Mike Foltynewicz (5-4, 3.90). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.