A four-run fifth inning propelled the Reno Aces (@Aces) to a 5-4 victory over the Salt Lake Bees at Smith's Ballpark. The win was the Aces' fifth in their last six games, and it also gave Reno their first series win of the season.
After splitting a twinbill with Salt Lake (12-19) Sunday, Reno took advantage of three walks and a hit batter in the fifth inning Monday to score four times, grabbing the lead for good.
Two of the free passes – to Mike Freeman (@MikeBFree5) and Jamie Romak – came with the bases loaded, forcing in a pair of runs. A run-scoring single by Kevin Frandsen (@KevinFrandsen) preceded the walks, and a bases-loaded fielder's choice hit by Peter O'Brien resulted in another tally.
Reno (14-18) used the long ball to take an early 1-0 lead in the second against right-hander Drew Rucinski (0-2). For the third time in the series, Romak cleared the fence, sending a solo blast over the left-field wall.
Facing Reno righty Caleb Clay (@CalebClay), Salt Lake grabbed their first and only lead with two runs in the bottom of the fourth. Catcher Jeff Bandy drove in Efren Navarro and former Ace Alfredo Marte with a double to left.
The Aces' big fifth inning followed, giving the visitors a 5-2 cushion halfway home.
Clay (3-1) was able to work around a Romak throwing error in the home half, but the right-hander faced trouble in the sixth when four straight Bees reached, knocking the 27-year-old out of the game.
Walks to Navarro and Roger Kieschnick sandwiched an infield single by Marte, loading the bases for Bandy. Clay worked ahead before drilling him with a 1-2 offering, forcing in Salt Lake's third run.
Reliever Tim Crabbe then entered, inheriting the bases-loaded, no-out jam. Fortunately for the Aces, the right-hander dealt his best hand to the Bees, surrendering just one run on a sacrifice fly while striking out two.
The bullpen trio of Dan Runzler, Kevin Munson (@GOTMUNEY) and Jake Barrett (@BJBace99) followed suit, each delivering a scoreless inning to slam the door on Salt Lake's comeback hopes.
Kevin Frandsen (@KevinFrandsen) led the Aces' offensive attack, going 2-for-4 with one run scored and one RBI.
Garrett Weber (@_weber5) finished 1-for-4 in the leadoff spot, pushing his team-high hitting streak to 13 games. He is hitting .353 (18-for-51) during the stretch.
The Aces now return home for an eight-game homestand with four-game sets against El Paso and Salt Lake. Reno left-hander Justin Marks (3-3, 6.21) will take the bump Tuesday night against Chihuahuas lefty Robbie Erlin (4-2, 4.96). First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m.