The Reno Aces set a season high for runs and scored in six consecutive innings to outslug the Las Vegas 51s by a 16-10 score on Wednesday night at Cashman Field. Reno won for the 16th time in its last 23 games to close to within a game of Tacoma for first place in the Pacific Northern Division for the first time since April 12.
Mitch Haniger (@M_Hanny19) gave Reno a 2-0 lead in the second inning with a two-run home run just to the left of the 433-foot sign atop the 20-foot wall in center field. Zach Borenstein reached on a fielder’s choice as the previous batter and then stole second to set up Haniger’s third homer in four games. The blast extended the outfielder’s hit streak to six games since his promotion to Reno on Friday, and nine games overall.
The Aces (35-30) continued the scoring with two more runs in the third. Pitcher Edgar Garcia helped his own cause with a leadoff single to center, advancing to second on a missed catch before Mike Freeman (@MikeBFree5) laced an RBI triple. Jack Reinheimer (@Reinheimer_08) then plated the utilityman with a run-scoring groundout to shortstop.
Reno pushed its advantage to 9-0 in the fourth, sending 11 men to the plate to score five runs. An RBI double from Sean Jamieson (@SeanJay04) scored Borenstein, who had led off the frame with a two-base hit of his own. Haniger reached on an error between the doubles, and Mark Thomas followed Jamieson with a walk to load the bases. Freeman capitalized on the opportunity with a two-run double to left before Reinheimer sustained the big inning with an RBI single through the left side. Sócrates Brito (@SocratesBrito) then drew a one-out walk to load the bases again, and Borenstein worked another free pass to score Freeman.
Las Vegas (33-32) got on the board with a run in the home half, cutting the Aces’ lead to 9-1. Brandon Nimmo led off the frame with a triple to center field, scoring four batters later on an RBI single by Roger Bernadina. The Aces responded with their 10th run of the night in the fifth. Thomas drew a one-out walk before Garcia knocked a single through the left side to bring up Freeman. The utilityman logged his third hit of the night, an RBI single to left that scored the catcher.
The 51s made the score 10-6 with five runs in the bottom of the fifth, including a run-scoring base hit by Eric Campbell and a two-out grand slam by Travis Taijeron. Reno responded with a pair of runs to raise its lead back to six. Kyle Jensen began the frame with a leadoff walk before Haniger launched his second home run of the night, a two-run shot to left to put the Aces ahead 12-6.
Las Vegas cut its deficit in half with three runs in the home half of the sixth on a two-run double by Campbell and a run-scoring groundout by Johnny Monell. The Aces pushed their lead to 16-9 with four runs in the seventh. Ed Lucas (@ELuke21) led off with a double to right and came home two batters later on Reinheimer’s sacrifice fly. Freeman followed Lucas with a single to left, moving up on Brito’s groundout and then scoring on a single up the middle by Jensen. Borenstein then continued the onslaught with a two-run home run to center.
The 51s joined the Aces with double-digit runs after the seventh-inning stretch, completing the scoring for the night with a run on three singles, a fielder’s choice and a walk.
Freeman led Reno offensively, going 4-for-6 with a triple, a double, four RBI and three runs scored. The utilityman notched his second game of four or more hits in his last three contests following his five-hit night on Monday. Haniger matched Freeman with four RBI, going 2-for-5 with three runs scored, two home runs and a strikeout. The former Big West Conference Player of the Year at Cal Poly has homered in three of his last four games, and the two dingers and four RBI on Wednesday both equaled his career highs.
Garcia fell one out short of qualifying for the win, allowing six earned runs on seven hits (one home run) over 4 2/3 innings with three walks and two strikeouts. Southpaw Daniel Gibson (@d_gibs_6) was credited with his first win after he allowed a hit in 2/3 of an inning in relief. Rafael Montero took the loss for Las Vegas, allowing nine runs (seven earned) on eight hits (one home run) over 3 2/3 innings with three walks and five strikeouts.
The Aces continue their 12-game road trip with the finale of the four-game series at Las Vegas on Thursday. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m. PT. Right-hander Kyle Drabek (3-4, 5.88) will toe the rubber for Reno, while the 51s will send right-hander Logan Verrett (0-0, -.--) to the bump.