Two separate rallies for the Reno Aces (@Aces) weren’t enough in a 4-3, 11-inning loss to the El Paso Chihuahuas Tuesday night at Southwest University Park.
Will Middlebrooks’ two-out run-scoring single in the bottom of the 11th off of Keith Hessler dropped the Aces to 1-4 in extra-inning affairs this season.
Limited to three hits and no runs through the first four innings, Reno (53-57) took advantage of two El Paso (57-53) errors on one play in the fifth.
Singles by Matt Pagnozzi (@MattPagnozzi) and Danny Worth opened the frame, setting up Aces pitcher Gabriel Arias who dropped down a sacrifice bunt. El Paso starter Daniel McCutchen fired to third for the force out, but his throw sailed into left field, allowing Pagnozzi to score. Chihuahuas’ left fielder Alex Dickerson backed up the play and threw home in an attempt to nab Pagnozzi, but his throw bounced past catcher Jason Hagerty, giving Worth and Arias an extra base. One out later, Brandon Drury tied the game at two with an RBI groundout
The Chihuahuas then capitalized on a Drury error in the home half. A single and sacrifice bunt chased Arias for left-hander Justin Marks who promptly gave up a walk and infield single. Drury’s errant throw from second base on the infield single gave the home team a 3-2 lead.
The Aces’ bats remained silent – and the score stayed 3-2 – until the top of the ninth. El Paso closer Jay Jackson served up a leadoff double to Mike Freeman (@MikeBFree5). Two outs later, Worth lined a 1-1 offering into left for the game-tying single.
Matt Stites (@matt_stites) worked a quick 1-2-3 ninth, sending the Aces into extras for the first time since June 25 at Tacoma.
Reno’s batters were retired in order in both the 10th and 11th inning, before Middlebrooks’ two-out heroics in the final frame
Diego Goris gave the Chihuahuas a 1-0 lead in the third with an RBI double. Dickerson then opened the bottom of the fourth with a long solo home run to right, pushing El Paso’s lead to two
In his first start since July 17, Arias took a no-decision after allowing three runs – two earned – on four hits over 4 2/3 innings. McCutchen also did not factor into the decision after yielding two earned runs on eight hits over six innings.
Hessler (0-1) was tagged with the loss while Nick Vincent (4-3) picked up the win with one shutout inning in relief.
Drury finished 0-for-5 at the dish, snapping his season-long hitting streak at 14 games.
The Aces continue their nine-game road trip with the opener of a five-game series tomorrow night at Tacoma. Right-hander Aaron Blair (3-1, 4.50) gets the nod for Reno against right-hander Jordan Pries (6-3, 5.35) for the Rainiers. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PST.