Kyle Jensen (@TheKJensen42) hit a three-run homer and grand slam to back seven strong innings from Braden Shipley (@shipley25) as the Reno Aces smashed the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, 10-1, Monday night at Greater Nevada Field. Jensen’s second multi-homer game of 2016 led to a career-high seven RBI and Reno’s third consecutive win.
The Aces (50-45) answered the Sky Sox’s first-inning run with three in the bottom half on Jensen’s 18th home run of the season. Two-out singles by Mitch Haniger (@M_Hanny19) and Peter O’Brien set up Jensen’s towering shot to right-center which gave the Aces a 3-1 lead.
The three-run blast was more than enough support for Shipley who dealt seven innings of one-run ball, the lone blemish coming on his third pitch of the game when Kyle Wren lofted a leadoff solo homer to right field.
Reno backed the right-hander with more run support, thanks to a run-scoring groundout by Mark Thomas in the second and two-run double from O’Brien in the following frame.
Shipley worked just one 1-2-3 inning in his team-high 12th quality start, stranding nine runners in total. He worked free from a first-and-second, no-out jam in the second with two strikeouts and a groundout. Two more Sky Sox members reached base to start the fourth, but a double play and punchout helped the 24-year-old escape.
Colorado Springs (44-48) staged another rally attempt in the fifth, but a flyout left the bases loaded. A leadoff single for the visitors in the sixth then went unharmed, and two runners were left aboard in the seventh and eighth innings as well.
Jensen capitalized on three walks issued from left-hander Sam Freeman to begin the home half of the sixth, driving a 1-2 offering off the batter’s eye to cap his seven-RBI performance.
Shipley (8-5) improved to 4-1 at Greater Nevada Field with his eighth start of seven-plus innings, seven in which he’s allowed three earned runs or less. The Pacific Coast League innings leader pushed his total to 119 1/3 frames spanning 19 starts. Josh Hader (0-3) suffered the loss after surrendering six runs – five earned – on six hits and four walks with three strikeouts over 3 2/3 innings.
With two hits – both homers – in three at-bats against lefties, Jensen raised his season average against southpaws to .446 (41-for-92) with seven home runs.
The Aces and Sky Sox continue their four-game series with game two on Tuesday. First pitch from Greater Nevada Field is set for 7:05 p.m. PT. Reno will send right-hander Shelby Miller (0-0, -.--) to the mound, while righty Hiram Burgos (5-6, 4.69) gets the nod for Colorado Springs.