A home run derby broke out at Werner Park between the Reno Aces and Omaha Storm Chasers Friday night. The Storm Chasers hit five home runs and held off the Aces in a 10-8 win to send Reno to their fifth consecutive loss.
The five straight losses is on the heels of winning six straight from May 10-16. It's the third time Reno has lost at least five consecutive games in 2015.
The long balls came early and often for the Storm Chasers who got it started with a solo shot from Cheslor Cuthbert in the bottom of the first inning.
Catcher Erik Kratz put Omaha on top 2-0 with a lead-off homer in the second. It didn't stop there as Casey Kotchman doubled and Orlando Calixte belted a two-run shot off starter Caleb Clay to build a 4-0 lead.
Clay retired the side in order in the third, but ran into more trouble in the fourth. He got Kratz to bounce out to shortstop to start the inning, then allowed a one-out single to Kotchman. That's when Francisco Pena hit a two-run homer to make it 6-0.
Calixte followed Pena with a walk, and Lane Adams got in on the derby with a two-run blast to give the Storm Chasers a whopping 8-0 lead.
The five home runs allowed by Clay is the most allowed by an individual pitcher in franchise history. Three pitchers had previously allowed four each.
Despite the 8-0 deficit, the Aces didn't pack it in for the night. A four-run fifth inning cut the lead in half. Kevin Frandsen started the inning with a single and moved up to second on a base hit by Danny Dorn. Frandsen came around to score on Peter O'Brien's RBI double to the gap in right-center.
Following O'Brien, Nick Evans launched a three-run home run to left-field to make it an 8-4 game. Evans has 27 RBI in the month of May. It's tied for the fifth-most RBI for an individual player in a single month in Aces history. Mike Jacobs holds the record with 34 RBI in May of 2014.
O'Brien got in on the home run action with a two-run smash in the seventh. It trimmed the lead to 8-6 but Omaha answered with two runs of their own to give them a four-run cushion at 10-6.
Reno rallied in the ninth as O'Brien came up with a two-strike, two-out, two-run single up the middle to cut it to 10-8. Right-hander Louis Coleman nailed down the win for Omaha when he got Evans to bounce into a fielder's choice for the final out.
O'Brien finished the night 4-for-5 with the home run, a pair of doubles and five runs batted in. He leads the Aces with 41 RBI, two ahead of Evans at 39. Their 80 combined RBI is the most for a pair of teammates in the Pacific Coast League.
Game three of the four-game set is scheduled for Saturday at Werner Park. Left-hander Vidal Nuño (3-2, 2.80) starts for the Aces against right-hander Andy Ferguson (0-1, 1.50) for the Storm Chasers. First pitch is set for 5:05 PST.