Utilityman Mike Freeman (@MikeBFree5) tied an Aces record with the 14th five-hit game in franchise history as Reno earned a 14-7 victory over the Las Vegas 51s on Monday night in the opener of the teams’ four-game series at Cashman Field. Sócrates Brito (@SocratesBrito) drove in a career-best six runs to set an Aces season high, and Edwin Escobar turned in a quality outing in his first start since being optioned back to Triple-A from Arizona.
Las Vegas opened the scoring in the first inning, when T.J. Rivera laced an RBI single to right field that scored Brandon Nimmo, who drew a one-out walk before advancing on a groundout. Kyle Jensen led off the second with a double to right for Reno. He advanced to third two batters later when Rivera missed a throw from pitcher Gabriel Ynoa on Zach Borenstein’s fielder’s choice, and then tagged up to score on a sacrifice fly by Carlos Rivero (@Carlos_Rivero3).
The Aces took an 8-1 lead with seven runs in the third. Freeman started the rally on a double to right, advancing to third when Jack Reinheimer (@Reinheimer_08) reached on a fielder’s choice and then scoring on an RBI single by Brito. Jensen then provided an offensive jolt with a three-run home run to left, increasing Reno’s lead to 5-1. Borenstein followed with an infield single to set up a two-run dinger by Mitch Haniger (@M_Hanny19). After a Rivero groundout, Tuffy Gosewisch (@SantiaGosewisch) doubled to left and then scored when 51s right fielder Travis Taijeron misplayed an RBI single by Escobar.
Reno raised its lead to 11-1 in the fifth on a bases-loaded triple from Brito. The three-bagger came after a leadoff single by Rivero, a base hit by Freeman and a walk to Reinheimer. Brito later drove in his fifth run of the night in the seventh on a two-out single that brought Freeman around from second. The former Clemson Tiger had tied the franchise single-game hits record with a single and then advanced a passed ball.
Las Vegas manufactured a run following the seventh-inning stretch on a one-out single and three consecutive walks by Aces reliever Matt Stites (@matt_stites). The 51s closed the gap to 12-7 with five runs in the eighth. Rivera singled off Reno’s Daniel Gibson (@d_gibs_6) to set up a two-run home run by Johnny Monell. A single, two doubles and an RBI groundout brought the home team back to within five.
Reno completed the scoring with two runs in the ninth. Brito reached on a two-out fielding error, logging his sixth RBI of the night as Gosewisch scored from third. In the next at-bat, pitcher Matt Capps logged his first career RBI on a groundout that plated Sean Jamieson (@SeanJay04), who had pinch-hit for Escobar in the seventh and remained in the game at shortstop.
Freeman’s five hits on the night and two knocks in the third inning marked the first time an Aces player accomplished these feats since Brandon Drury turned the tricks on August 18 of last year at Colorado Springs. In addition, Brito’s six RBI are the most by an Aces hitter since Cody Ransom had seven on June 7, 2015, at Fresno.
Escobar (3-1) posted a quality start for the third time in his last four outings for Reno dating back to May 12, allowing one earned run on three hits over six innings with four walks and three strikeouts. He threw 87 pitches, 46 for strikes.
The Aces continue their four-game series at Las Vegas with game two on Tuesday. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m. PT. Right-hander Matt Buschmann (2-5, 5.97) will toe the rubber for Reno, while the 51s will send out left-hander Sean Gilmartin (6-3, 5.43).
Reno Aces Press Release