The Reno Aces carried their recent homestand success to the road in a 7-1 win over the Tacoma Rainiers on Thursday night at Cheney Field. With light rain falling throughout the night, the Aces slipped free from a 1-1 deadlock with a six-run sixth inning to pull within three games of the Rainiers for first place in the Pacific Conference Northern Division.
Through five innings, the Aces totaled one run on seven hits, stranding nine baserunners against Tacoma starter Donn Roach. In the sixth, the bats finally delivered in the clutch. Consecutive doubles by Carlos Rivero @Carlos_Rivero3) and Tuffy Gosewisch (@santiagosewisch) opened the inning, the latter providing the Aces with a 2-1 lead. One out later, Roach was removed for right-hander Casey Coleman who promptly walked Jack Reinheimer (@Reinheimer_08). Peter O’Brien then chopped a grounder to third, but Tacoma third baseman Tyler Smith airmailed the force throw to second into right, allowing Gosewisch to score.
Leading by two, the Aces (31-28) were not finished against Coleman. Socrates Brito (@SocratesBrito) lined a run-scoring single to make it 4-1, moments before Kyle Jensen crushed a three-run homer to left-center, his ninth of the season and fifth over his last nine games.
Given the six-run advantage through 5 ½ innings, Aces starter Matt Buschmann (@Busch26) retired the last six batters he faced en route to his second win of the season. He scattered five hits over 6 2/3 innings with one walk and one strikeout. Roach (4-4) suffered the loss after allowing three earned runs on nine hits over 5 1/3 innings. He walked three and fanned three in defeat.
Tacoma grabbed an early 1-0 advantage in the first when speedster Boog Powell tagged from third on a shallow fly by Efren Navarro to left, a pop-up that Reinheimer tracked down from his shortstop position. Gosewisch tied the game at one during Reno’s next trip to the plate when he doubled high off the wall in left, scoring Zach Borenstein who began the frame with a single.
Mike Freeman (@MikeBFree5) pushed his on-base streak to 20 games with a pair of singles in six at-bats. Brito totaled four hits in five trips to the plate for his second four-hit game of the season and seventh of his career.
The Rainiers (34-25) lost for just the seventh time in 28 home games. Despite the loss, their 21-7 home record is still the best in all of baseball.
The Aces continue their 12-game road trip with game two of a four-game set against the Rainiers on Friday. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m. PT. Reno will send right-hander Edgar Garcia (2-2, 6.58) to the bump, while the Rainiers will counter with right-hander Cody Martin (5-3, 5.55).