Sacramento’s Andy Parrino supplied early fireworks with a three-run blast in the first inning to lead the River Cats to a 6-4 win over the Aces in front of a capacity crowd of 10,310 at Aces Ballpark Friday night.
Nick Buss singled off Aces starter Andrew Chafin to start the game and quickly moved to second when Jake Elmore drew a walk. It setup Parrino who lifted a 1-1 pitch from Chafin over the wall in left-field for his seventh homer of the season.
Reno came back with a pair of runs of their own in the second. Aaron Cunningham started the inning with a triple to right-center and scored on Mike Freeman’s run-scoring base hit. Two batters later, Bobby Wilson hit a sacrifice fly to score Freeman and make it 4-2.
The Aces had a chance to cut into the lead even more in the third, but Danny Dorn was thrown out trying to score from second base on a base-hit by Argenis Diaz.
The score remained 4-2 until the sixth inning when Sacramento first baseman Anthony Aliotti launched a fly ball to left-center that was lost by Cunningham and Tony Campana. Shane Peterson and Jose Martinez raced around to score and give the River Cats a 6-2 lead.
The Aces made it close in the eighth inning when Cunningham and Freeman started another rally. Cunningham dumped a blooper down the right-field line that went for a double. Freeman followed with an opposite-field single to cut the lead in half at 6-3.
Argenis Diaz struck out swinging for the first out in the inning. With Wilson batting, Freeman stole second and moved to third as Luis Exposito’s throw went into center-field. Wilson hit a sacrifice fly to score Freeman to draw Reno within two runs.
The comeback fell short as River Cats closer Evan Scribner worked a 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth inning. The River Cats hold a 3.5 game lead over the Aces in the Pacific Northern division.
The 10,310 in attendance marks the largest crowd in Aces Ballpark history, surpassing the mark of 10,135 at the 2013 Triple-A All-Star Game.
The two teams will play game two of the series Saturday night. Right-hander Bo Schultz (6-5, 5.34) gets the ball for the Aces. The River Cats haven’t named a game two starter. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.