The Reno Aces received another stellar outing from a rotation member and survived off two early runs to defeat the Sacramento River Cats, 3-1, Tuesday night at Raley Field. Kyle Drabek (@kyledrabek4) threw seven innings and retired 15 of the last 16 batters he faced, helping the Aces snap their losing streak at three games.
Drabek, 28, leveled his record at 2-2, and outpitched Sacramento’s Ty Blach (4-3), who was seeking his fifth win in seven starts. Blach, like Drabek, settled in after a shaky start.
The Aces (13-18) jumped on the left-hander with single runs in the first and second innings. Mike Freeman (@MikeBFree5) doubled with one away in the first and two batters later, raced home on a two-out single by Kyle Jensen. Reno doubled their lead to two in the second, thanks to a perfectly-executed safety squeeze by Drabek with runners at the corners, scoring Jack Reinheimer (@Reinheimer_08) from third.
Following Drabek’s squeeze bunt, Jason Bourgeois (@jbourgeois11) singled, his first of two hits on the night. Blach didn’t allow another runner the rest of the way, erasing the next 16 batters while only four baseballs left the infield.
Drabek matched Blach pitch for pitch with both starters exiting after seven frames. Drabek allowed a walk and single in the first, but a caught stealing and strikeout removed the threat. A one-out double and single in the second gave the River Cats (13-20) another scoring opportunity, but a groundout and strikeout prevented further damage.
Sacramento finally broke through in the third, but it was Drabek again who pitched out of major trouble. Back-to-back singles and a wild pitch gave the River Cats a pair of runners in scoring position with no outs. Drabek induced a sacrifice fly, groundout and routine flyout to center, however, limiting Sacramento to one run.
Drabek saved his best work for the sixth. The right-hander gave up a leadoff double to Ryan Lollis, but left him at third after a flyout and two groundouts.
Enrique Burgos delivered a 1-2-3 eighth inning with two strikeouts to keep Reno’s one-run advantage intact. Todd Glaesmann (@ToddGlaesmann22) delivered a two-out single to plate Reinheimer – who tripled – in the ninth, setting up Silvino Bracho (@silvinobracho) for his fifth save in as many tries.
Bourgeois and Freeman collected two hits apiece to pace the offense. Reno is 5-7 over their last 12 games, despite failing to score more than four runs in any of the contests.
Reno continues its 12-game road trip Wednesday afternoon with Game 2 of a four-game series at Sacramento. First pitch is set for 12:05 p.m. PT. Reno will send right-hander Braden Shipley (2-2, 3.22) to the bump, while the River Cats will send out righty Chris Stratton (4-2, 6.55).