Forty pitches into the first inning, the Reno Aces trailed 3-0 and were without their starting pitcher and manager due to ejections. A late rally by the Aces fell short as the Albuquerque Isotopes evened the four-game series with a 3-2 win Tuesday night at Greater Nevada Field.
Albuquerque (2-4) sent nine batters to the plate in the first inning and capitalized on two walks, a hit batter and wild pitch uncorked by Aces starter Archie Bradley (@ArchieBradley7) to take a 3-0 lead. After Bradley’s wild pitch scored Ryan Casteel, a two-run single by Jordan Patterson plated Mike Tauchman and Stephen Cardullo.
Three batters and a second walk later, Aces skipper Phil Nevin came on to remove Bradley – already at 40 pitches – from the game. Bradley exchanged words with home plate umpire Ronnie Teague who, without hesitation, tossed the 23-year-old. Nevin, whose back was to Teague during the initial ejection, changed his direction toward the mound and instead walked toward Teague. The third-year manager was quickly ejected as well, his first of 2016.
After the first-inning fireworks fizzled, Reno’s bullpen took over.
Entering Tuesday night’s action, the Aces’ bullpen had combined for 14 1/3 innings while allowing just three earned runs, good for a 1.88 ERA. Another 7 1/3 innings of shutout ball shrunk their collective ERA to a miniscule 1.19.
Five relievers kept the Aces within striking distance, led by Seth Simmons’ (@SizzleSimmons) 3 1/3 innings of long relief after Bradley’s departure. Adam Loewen followed with two shutout frames before Scott Rice (@elArroz_56), Dominic Leone (@DLeone54) and Kaleb Fleck (@k_fleck) delivered one shutout frame apiece.
Reno (3-2) slowly chipped away, scoring once in the fifth on a sacrifice fly by Carlos Rivero (@Carlos_Rivero3) and another in the seventh on a run-scoring single by Jason Bourgeois (@jbourgeois11). Shortly after Bourgeois’ base-knock which pulled the Aces within one, Evan Marzilli (@marzooch) drew his team-high fifth walk, loading the bases for Jack Reinheimer (@Reinheimer_08) and Mike Freeman (@MikeBFree5). The duo both flew out, however, ending the inning and Reno’s last golden scoring chance.
Kyle Jensen extended his hitting streak to five games with a one-out single in the eighth inning.
Bradley (1-1) suffered the loss in the shortest start of his career. Albuquerque starter Eddie Butler (1-0) picked up the win after yielding one earned run on four hits over six innings. He walked one and struck out four.
The Aces and Isotopes continue their series Wednesday night at Greater Nevada Field. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. Right-hander Tyler Wagner (0-1, 3.38) makes his second start of the season. He will be opposed by Albuquerque right-hander David Hale (0-1, 2.25).