Zach Borenstein homered in his third straight game and drove in three as the Reno Aces topped the Iowa Cubs, 7-2, on Thursday night.
The Aces’ win, paired with a loss by first-place Sacramento, brings Reno to within two games of first place with eleven games remaining in the regular season.
Reno’s victory was overshadowed by a scary moment in the top of the second inning, when Aces starter Mike Bolsinger was hit in the face with a line drive off the bat of Iowa second baseman Jonathan Mota. Bolsinger left the field under his own power, and was taken to the hospital for observation immediately following the incident.
Faced with a formidable task, the Aces’ bullpen held the Cubs’ bats in check through 7 1/3 innings, allowing just one one run. Mark Serrano (6-0) gave up one run in 4 2/3 innings, and Kevin Munson struck out all five batters he faced in 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. In the ninth, Joe Paterson surrendered a run on two hits and two walks through 1/3 inning before Jake Barrett induced a 4-6-3 double play to close out the win. Overall, Reno’s relief corps edged their collective ERA down to 3.02.
After winning his last three starts, Dan Straily (3-4) took the loss for Iowa, giving up 2 earned runs on just four hits through six innings of work.
The Aces got on the board in the bottom of the second on a Danny Dorn walk, a Garrett Weber single and a groundout by Borenstein. Iowa leadoff hitter Junior Lake crushed his first Triple-A homer of the season to tie the game in the fifth.
Reno recaptured the lead in the sixth as Andy Marte homered off the left field scoreboard. The Aces added a pair of runs in the seventh as Zach Borenstein hit a two-run home run, his third in as many games, off reliever Armando Rivero. Reno closed out the scoring with three more in the eighth off the Cubs’ Carlos Pimentel.
Borenstein powered the Aces’ run production on the night, driving in three on the two-run homer and a groundout. Marte and Dorn each picked up a pair of extra-base hits. Mota and Elliot Soto each collected two hits for Iowa.
The Aces look to secure the series win in game three of the four-game series on Friday night. Right-hander Charles Brewer (6-10, 5.72 ERA) will take the hill for Reno. Iowa has not yet announced Friday’s starting pitcher.