– The Reno Aces' offense exploded for 14 runs on 17 hits in a 14-12 win over the Salt Lake Bees in a slugfest at Smith's Ballpark Friday night.
Nick Evans, Danny Worth and Mike Freeman all had three hits for the Aces who have won three consecutive games and improved their record to 12-17.
The scoring came early and often for Reno. Freeman and Peter O'Brien set the table in the first inning with back-to-back one-out singles. Evans collected his first hit of the night, a two-run double, to make it a 2-0 game.
It didn't stop there as Jamie Romak followed Evans with a base hit of his own, a single to left-field. After Salt Lake starter Adam Wilk retired Tom Belza on a fly out, Matt Pagnozzi drew a walk and Danny Worth drove in Evans and Romak with a two-run single.
The ninth batter in the opening frame, Kevin Frandsen, singled to left-field to score Pagnozzi with the fifth run of the inning.
Salt Lake (11-17) answered immediately with runs on base hits from Marc Krauss and former Ace Alfredo Marte.
Freeman led off the second inning with another base hit. He stole second base and came around when Romak blasted a two-out, two-run home run that gave the Aces a 7-2 lead.
The Bees scored two more runs in the bottom half of inning number two to trim the deficit to 7-4. Another five-run inning was in the works as the Aces sent eight to the plate in the third. Worth started it with a solo homer, his third of the season. Garrett Weber chipped in with an RBI triple to extend his hitting streak to 11 games.
O'Brien's RBI single made it a 10-4 game, and Evans followed O'Brien with another home run – a two-run shot to the opposite field.
More runs came in the fourth for Reno when Pagnozzi doubled to right-field to score Belza. Freeman's third hit of the night netted the Aces their 14th and final run of the game.
Salt Lake didn't go quietly. The Bees scored a pair of runs in the sixth and seventh innings, then scored three in the eighth to make it a 14-12 game.
Jake Barrett was summoned for the ninth and needed 15 pitches to strike out the side for his sixth save of the year.
O'Brien, Romak and Frandsen added two hits apiece, and Tim Crabbe picked up the win in relief after three innings of work. Crabbe came on at the start of the third inning when starter Blake Beavan left the game with an undisclosed injury.
Game two of the four-game series is set for Saturday night. Right-hander A.J. Schugel (1-3, 12.33) starts for the Aces against right-hander Nick Tropeano (0-1, 4.70) for the Bees. First pitch is scheduled for 5:35 p.m.