The Reno Aces jumped out to a second-inning 8-0 lead and went on to a 9-4 win over the Sacramento River Cats Thursday night at Raley Field. The win gave the two team's identical 78-62 records with four games remaining in the 2014 regular season.
Mike Jacobs' big night at the plate paced the Aces. A double down the left-field line scored Nick Ahmed and Chris Owings who started the game with back-to-back singles. Two batters later, Danny Dorn plated Jacobs with a base hit up the middle to give Reno a 3-0 lead in the first.
With one out in the second inning, Blake Lalli sent a single through the right side of the infield and Ahmed followed with a two-run blast to left-field, his fourth homer of the season. After Owings singled and Andy Marte worked a walk, Jacobs blasted his 16th home run of the year, an opposite-field three-run shot to open an 8-0 lead in the second.
Jacobs finished the night 3-for-5 with 5 RBI and 2 runs scored. The slugger has 94 RBI on the season, a new Aces single-season high.
The early offense was more than enough for left-hander Clayton Richard who was making his Aces debut. The southpaw allowed three runs over 6 1/3 innings to grab the win. Richard was signed by the Diamondbacks on August 1 and sent to Double-A Mobile where he made three starts.
Sacramento's Daric Barton launched a two-run home run off Reno reliever Zeke Spruill in the bottom of the seventh inning to cut the lead to 9-4. It was Barton's second home run of the game.
Spruill worked a scoreless eighth inning before handing over to Joe Paterson who followed suit in the ninth. Ahmed, Owings, Jacobs, Dorn and Garrett Weber all had multi-hit games for the Aces in a 12-hit attack.
The Aces need to win three of the final four games to win the Pacific Northern Division title. Right-hander Daniel Hudson (0-0, 0.00) makes his second rehab start for Reno in game two of the five-game series Friday night. Right-hander Angel Castro (0-2, 7.36) gets the ball for Sacramento. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.