The Aces grabbed their third consecutive win as they topped the Fresno Grizzlies, 3-1, at Chukchansi Park Wednesday night.
The starting pitching has been tremendous for the Aces over the past few days and Mark Serrano continued the trend in Fresno. The right-hander allowed one run on four hits over 6 2/3 innings in just his third start of the year.
Offense looked like it would be the name of the game as both teams scored in the first inning. Continuing his red-hot July, Andy Marte gave the Aces an early lead with a one-out, RBI single in the first. Mike Jacobs followed with a run-scoring groundout to give Serrano a 2-0 lead before he threw his first pitch.
The Grizzlies got back-to-back hits from Darren Ford and Mark Minicozzi in the bottom half of the inning. Minicozzi’s double plated Ford to cut the lead in half at 2-1.
After the double from Minicozzi, Serrano retired 16 of the next 17 hitters he faced. He struck out six and issued two walks on the night while improving to 3-0.
Marte and Jacobs were back at it again in the fourth inning. Marte’s second hit of the night, a double, started the frame. Jacobs made it a 3-1 game when he drove in Marte with a sharp single to left-center.
With his 3-for-3 night at the plate, Marte is hitting .396 (38-for-96) with 19 RBI, 13 runs scored and 10 doubles in the month of July.
Serrano worked into the seventh where he gave up a lead-off single to Brandon Hicks. He then struck out Guillermo Quiroz and retired Adalberto Santos on a fly ball to center. Kevin Munson came on in relief and got Brett Krill to pop-out on the first pitch he threw to end the threat.
Will Harris worked a perfect eighth inning to keep the 3-1 lead. With one out in the ninth, Grizzlies third baseman Chris Dominguez hit a towering fly ball to center that Mike Freeman robbed of being a home run. Jake Barrett went on to retire the side in order to grab his sixth save of the season.
During the three-game winning streak, starters Charles Brewer, Lucas Harrell and Serrano have combined to allow only one run over 21 1/3 innings.
Game three of the series is set for Thursday night at Chukchansi Park. Right-hander Mike Bolsinger (6-1, 3.29) starts for Reno while Fresno has yet to name a starter. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.