The Fresno Grizzlies used a five-run second inning on their way to a 10-7 win over the Reno Aces Thursday night at Aces Ballpark.
The win for Fresno evened the three-game series at a game apiece with the finale set for Friday night.
The first inning was a breeze for Reno right-hander A.J. Schugel. Back with the Aces after a 12-start stint with the Double-A Mobile BayBears, Schugel allowed five runs in the second inning.
The Grizzlies got RBI singles from Tony Kemp, Jonathan Villar and L.J. Hoes to bust open a 5-0 lead.
Nick Buss got the Aces on the board when he belted a solo homer into the Fresno bullpen in the home half of the second.
In the top of the third, a run-scoring base hit by Fresno’s Joe Sclafani chased Schugel from the game. Left-hander Justin Marks gave the Aces 3 1/3 innings in relief but the deficit proved too much to overcome.
Reno added a pair of runs in the fifth to bring it to within four runs. Danny Worth scored on Mike Freeman’s double off the center-field wall and Blake Lalli scored on a fielder’s choice from Nick Evans.
They drew closer in the sixth when Peter O’Brien launched his 19th homer of the season – a solo shot to deep right-center to make it a 7-4 game.
The Aces continued to put runs on the board, but the Grizzlies kept pace. Joe Sclafani singled home a run in the seventh, Tyler White hit a solo homer in the eighth, and Jonathan Villar’s infield single in the ninth brought in another run.
Brandon Drury doubled in a run in the seventh, and Jamie Romak added a sacrifice fly. A run-scoring groundout from Freeman made it a two-run game in the bottom of the eighth before Fresno added the insurance run on Villar’s single in the ninth.
Freeman, Evans, Buss and Lalli all had multi-hit games for the Aces in a 12-hit effort. It wasn’t enough as the Grizzlies pounded out 17 hits, led by three from both Sclafani and Hoes.
Asher Wojciechowski got the win for Fresno and Schugel was tagged with the loss for Reno. James Hoyt worked a scoreless bottom of the ninth to earn his fifth save of the season.
The series and homestand finale is scheduled for Friday night at Aces Ballpark. Right-hander Aaron Blair (3-1, 4.55) starts for Reno against right-hander Dan Straily (8-6, 3.59) for Fresno. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.