Peter O’Brien hit his fifth and sixth home runs of the season but the Reno Aces (7-11) couldn’t overcome an ugly second inning in a 7-4 loss to the Fresno Grizzlies (8-9) Monday night at Greater Nevada Field. The Grizzlies sent 10 batters to the plate during a six-run second to stave off Reno for second place in the Pacific Northern Division standings.

Both starters – Matt Buschmann (@Busch26) and Tommy Shirley – retired the side in quick fashion in the first. Riding a season-high four-game losing streak, the Grizzlies roared in the second.

Fresno fell a home run shy of the cycle in the frame, recording five hits and a sacrifice fly, capitalizing on two Buschmann (0-2) walks along the way. A two-run triple by Eury Perez made it 2-0, and Jon Kemmer followed with a run-scoring double inside first base to the right-field corner. Buschmann loaded the bases later in the inning, allowing Tony Kemp to drive in a run on a groundout to second. Former Aces infielder Danny Worth added the sacrifice fly, and A.J. Reed extended Fresno’s lead to a half-dozen on a line-drive single to center.

The Aces slowly chipped away, thanks to O’Brien’s eighth career multi-homer game. Shirley (3-0), who hadn’t allowed a run in 13 innings, saw his perfect ERA disappear on O’Brien’s first homer of the game in the second. Carlos Rivero (@Carlos_Rivero3) joined the party with a two-run shot in the fourth to cut the deficit to three. O’Brien then added his second of the game to open the sixth, bringing the Aces within two.

Reno’s bats went silent after O’Brien’s leadoff homer in the sixth, as they had just one base runner against Fresno’s bullpen combination of Cesar Valdez and James Hoyt. Valdez punched out two batters over 1 2/3 scoreless while Hoyt racked up five strikeouts over two shutout innings to record his league-high fifth save.

Mike Freeman (@MikeBFree5) extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a single in the second, matching Tacoma’s Chris Taylor for the longest stretch in the PCL this season. Jason Bourgeois (@jbourgeois11) collected two infield singles as part of a 2-for-4 effort. The Aces struck out a season-high 13 times in the defeat.

Buschmann suffered the loss after allowing six runs on nine hits over six innings. He walked three and struck out three. Shirley earned the win after yielding four earned runs on eight hits – three home runs – over 5 1/3 innings. He struck out six and walked a pair.

The Aces and Grizzlies meet Tuesday for the finale of their four-game series. First pitch from Greater Nevada Field is set for 11:35 a.m. PT. Reno will send right-hander Braden Shipley (2-1, 5.71) to the mound, while Fresno will counter with righty Brad Peacock (0-0, 3.21).

Reno Aces Press Release