The Reno Aces found themselves in an early hole Tuesday night against the Sacramento River Cats, and couldn't dig out all the way out in a 6-5 loss at Aces Ballpark. The loss is the sixth straight for Reno, a season-long streak.
The River Cats (15-11) plated three runs in the top of the first inning thanks to a bases-clearing double by Juan Perez.
Reno (9-17) cut into the deficit immediately in the home half of the first inning when Nick Evans knocked in Garrett Weber with an RBI groundout to make it 3-1.
After Sacramento added a single tally against starter Caleb Clay in the top of the third, the Aces came back with a run of their own. Weber started the inning with a single and came around to score on a single by Blake Lalli.
Clay worked around a two-out double by pitcher Robert Coello in the top of the fourth to put a zero on the board and keep it a 4-2 deficit.
Trayvon Robinson started the bottom of the fourth with an opposite-field double. Clay followed and dropped down a bunt. Instead of taking the out at first, Coello tried to cut down Robinson at third but the throw was late, allowing Clay to reach safely on the fielder's choice.
Weber then bounced a groundball to second base that Skyler Stromsmoe couldn't handle. Robinson scored on the play and Clay advanced to second. Two batters later the Aces added a run on a double play to even the game at 4-4.
Sacramento came right back with a run in the top of the fifth to regain the lead at 5-4. They added an insurance run in the eighth when John Bowker singled to right-field to drive in Juan Perez for a 6-4 lead.
The River Cats brought in hard-throwing Hunter Strickland for the eighth and ninth innings. He quickly retired the side in the eighth before Reno rallied in the ninth.
Again, Weber started another inning with a base hit. He hit a soft chopper to second that Stromsmoe threw away, allowing Weber to second base. Mike Freeman, who went 4-for-5, followed with a single to left-center, driving in Weber to make it a 6-5 game.
Strickland buckled down and responded with back-to-back strikeouts of Jamie Romak and Evans for the first two outs. He then retired Lalli on a 6-4 fielder's choice to end the game.
Game three of the four-game set is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon. Left-hander Vidal Nuño (2-2, 3.19) will start for the Aces against right-hander Kevin Correia (0-0, 3.00). First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m.