– A five-run third inning helped the Tacoma Rainiers top the Reno Aces, 8-3, Thursday night at Cheney Stadium.
A 1-0 game got out of hand in the third when the lead-off hitter, Ramon Flores, hit a solo homer off of Aces starter Justin Marks to give Tacoma a 2-0 lead. It didn’t stop there as the next six batters reached safely.
Chris Taylor followed the Flores homer with a sharp single through the left side. After a balk by Marks moved Taylor to second, Stefen Romero knocked in Taylor with a single to left-field.
Justin Ruggiano doubled and Patrick Kivlehan walked to load the bases. That was all for Marks who was replaced by right-hander Seth Simmons out of the bullpen.
A tall task ahead of him, Simmons entered with the bases loaded and nobody out with the Aces trailing 3-0. He issued a walk to John Hicks to force home another run. Jabari Blash then singled to give the Rainiers a 5-0 lead, and a fielder’s choice by Carlos Rivero brought home the final run of the inning for Tacoma.
Simmons settled in and gave the Aces three innings out of the ‘pen. He allowed two hits and recorded five strikeouts.
Reno got on the board when Brandon Drury started the sixth with a double to left-center. Nick Evans followed with a run-scoring single to right-center to cut the deficit to 6-1. Evans picked up his 73rd RBI of the season and finished the game 4-for-4. His 130 hits is tied for the most in the Pacific Coast League.
Danny Worth and Blake Lalli manufactured a second run for the Aces in the seventh. With two outs, Worth drew a walk and came around to score on Lalli’s double to the gap in right-center.
A two-on, nobody out rally was thwarted in the eighth when Jamie Romak bounced into a double play and Danny Dorn struck out to end the threat.
Todd Glaesmann hit a solo home run off former Ace J.C. Ramirez to start the ninth, but Ramirez retired the next three in order to close out the win for the Rainiers.
Tacoma starter Jordan Pries allowed two runs in 6 2/3 innings and picked up the win, his seventh of year. Marks was charged with the loss to drop his record to 5-8.
Game three of the five-game series is set for Friday night at Cheney Stadium. Right-hander Caleb Clay (7-7, 5.00) starts for the Aces against left-hander Roenis Elias (3-1, 7.89) for the Rainiers. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.