Three home runs and a strong outing from Justin Marks propelled the Reno Aces to a 6-3 victory in front of 13,569 fans Friday night at Raley Field in Sacramento.
Marks – whose last victory came on May 7 against Sacramento at Aces Ballpark – stymied the River Cats all night. His lone blemish came in the fourth when he surrendered one run on one hit and a walk. Former Ace Kevin Frandsen struck out but reached on a wild pitch to start the frame, and after a sacrifice bunt, strikeout and walk, scored on a run-scoring single by Trevor Brown.
Trailing for the fourth consecutive game, Reno (29-39) didn't panic and used long balls from Peter O'Brien, Nick Evans and Cody Ransom – all hit off of Sacramento left-hander Ty Blach – to grab a 6-1 lead.
O'Brien's 14th blast of the season came in the fifth, knotting the game at one. The homer snapped a string of ten straight batters retired by Blach (5-7) who suffered the loss after allowing six earned runs over seven innings.
Following a pair of one-out singles in the sixth, Evans put the Aces on top of Sacramento (30-39) with a three-run shot to the opposite field in right.
Ransom then joined the act with a two-run bomb to left in the seventh, capping Reno's night offensively. The 39-year-old has hit three homers and driven in 13 RBI over his last seven games.
The River Cats cut the Aces' lead to three with two runs in the home half of the seventh off of Evan Marshall , both coming on a two-out single by Ehire Adrianza.
The bullpen combination of Keith Hessler, Seth Simmons and Matt Stites blanked the River Cats over the final two innings, with the latter of the three picking up the save. Marks (4-6) was credited with the win after delivering six innings of one-run ball.
The victory was Reno's second straight, giving them consecutive wins for the first time since May 27 when they defeated Iowa. The Aces now lead the season series over the River Cats, 4-2.
Game three of the four-game series is set for Saturday night in Sacramento. Right-hander Jhoulys Chacin (0-0, 0.00) makes his Aces debut against right-hander Matt Cain (0-1, 8.10) for the River Cats. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.