The Reno Aces ended an 11-game, 12-day homestand with a 5-4 win over the Fresno Grizzlies in front of 8,015 fans at Aces Ballpark Friday night.
In taking two of three over Frenso, the Aces won seven of 11 on the homestand and sit eight games back of the Grizzlies in the Pacific North Division standings.
The game went back-and-forth all night as Fresno jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first on Alex Presley’s RBI single.
Peter O’Brien didn’t waste much time tying the game. He hit home run number 20 on the season in the bottom of the second to even the game at 1-1.
Fresno scored in the fourth to take a slim lead, but the Aces came back with two of their own in the fifth. Nick Buss (@chilibuss) tied the game with an RBI double to the wall in left-center. They grabbed the lead when Brandon Drury followed with a single up the middle to give Reno the lead.
Starter Aaron Blair and the Aces took a 3-2 lead into the top of the seventh inning. Blair retired Robbie Grossman quickly to start the inning, but then allowed a single to Jonathan Villar to end his night after 6 1/3 innings.
Evan Marshall relieved Blair and got L.J. Hoes to ground out to second for the second out of the inning. Presley was at it again when he delivered a two-out, run-scoring base hit to score Villar and even the game at 3-3. Matt Duffy followed with another RBI single, this time to give the Grizzlies a 4-3 lead.
Catcher Matt Pagnozzi sparked a rally with a walk to lead-off the home half of the seventh. Buss then ripped a full-count pitch from Jordan Jankowski into the right-center gap to knot the game at 4-4.
Right-hander Tyson Perez was summoned from the Fresno bullpen but issued three consecutive walks, the final one to Jamie Romak with the bases loaded to give the Aces a 5-4 lead. Fresno went to the bullpen again and it paid off as lefty Luis Cruz struck out three consecutive Aces to limit the damage to two runs.
Matt Stites needed just ten pitches to retire the side in the eighth. Enrique Burgos followed suit with a 1-2-3 ninth to earn his second save. Marshall got the win in relief and Jankowski took the loss.
Buss led the Aces with a 2-for-5 night at the plate. He knocked in two runs, scored two runs and had two extra-base hits.
The Aces hit the road for a nine-game road trip set to begin Saturday night in El Paso. Right-hander Allen Webster (2-5, 9.55) starts for the Aces against left-hander Jason Lane (8-6, 5.10) for the Chihuahuas. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 PST.