Braden Shipley (@shipley25) struck out eight over seven shutout innings and Peter O'Brien hit his seventh home run of the season - and fourth in his last three games - to give the Reno Aces (8-11) a 7-3 series-clinching victory over the Fresno Grizzlies (8-10) Tuesday afternoon at Greater Nevada Field.
The Aces saw their 3-0 advantage disappear momentarily when Colin Moran laced a three-run double off southpaw Scott Rice (@elArroz_56) in the eighth, but Kyle Jensen righted the ship with a tiebreaking, pinch-hit three-run double in the home half, propelling Reno to the series win.
Making his fourth Triple-A start, the 23-year-old Shipley and former Nevada Wolf Pack star was at his best. The right-hander's first five outs recorded all came on strikeouts, setting the stage for a masterful matinee performance.
Knotted at zero through two innings, consecutive singles by Sócrates Brito and Mike Freeman (@MikeBFree5) gave the Aces runners at the corners with nobody out. O'Brien, already with three home runs in his previous two games, stepped in and belted another. O'Brien, who totaled seven home runs in April of last season for Reno, reached the mark when he ripped an 0-1 offering from Grizzlies starter Brad Peacock over the wall in left-center.
After the Grizzlies tied the game on Moran's opposite-field double in the eighth, O'Brien fell just inches shy of his second consecutive multi-homer game. The slugger smashed a double high off the wall in left-center to open the inning. A single by Zach Borenstein and walk to Tuffy Gosewisch (@santiagosewisch) loaded the bases with one away for Jensen.
Fresh off an 0-for-4, four-strikeout performance in Reno's 7-4 loss Monday night, Jensen racked up three RBI and the game-winning hit with one swing, doubling over the head of Jon Kemmer in deep right. Sean Jamieson (@SeanJay04) added a sacrifice fly later in the inning to cap the scoring.
Jake Barrett (@BJBace99) picked up the win with 1 1/3 shutout innings. Kevin Chapman (1-1) was charged with four earned runs and the loss after he recorded just one out in the eighth. Peacock was let off the hook thanks to Moran's game-tying double. He allowed three earned runs on seven hits with three walks and nine strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings.
Shipley eclipsed the century mark in pitches, throwing 107 in total, 64 for strikes. His pitch count rose above 100 in his final frame, the first time he had a triple-digit pitch count since August 6, 2014 while with Double-A Mobile. He retired 15 of 16 batters during a stretch from the first into the sixth, racking up six punchouts along the way.
Freeman extended his hitting streak to a career-high-tying 15 games with a single in the first inning. His single in the third gave him nine multi-hit games this season, and he leads the PCL with 28 base knocks.
Following an off-day on Wednesday, the Aces welcome the Albuquerque Isotopes to Greater Nevada Field for a four-game set. First pitch from Greater Nevada Field on Thursday is set for 6:35 p.m. PT. Reno will send right-hander Archie Bradley (2-1, 2.84) to the mound, while Albuquerque will counter with righty Eddie Butler (2-0, 4.09).