Right-hander Matt Buschmann (@Busch26) nearly went the distance, and Zach Borenstein stayed red-hot at the plate as the Reno Aces knocked off the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, 7-2, on Thursday night at Greater Nevada Field. The win was the Aces’ sixth straight, their longest streak since a six-game stretch from June 18-24, 2015.
The Aces (53-45) moved eight games above .500 for a second time in 2016, thanks to Buschmann’s 8 1/3 innings of two-run ball. The 32-year-old was backed by Borenstein who finished 2-for-4 with a three-run homer, one night removed from a 3-for-5 effort in Reno’s 10-inning walk-off win.
Reno broke through against right-hander Aaron Wilkerson for three runs in the third. Following a Jack Reinheimer (@Reinheimer_08) single and stolen base, Mitch Haniger (@M_Hanny19) laced a double to the alley in left-center to make it 1-0. Moments later, a walk to David Peralta (@dperalta6) put runners at first and second, before Borenstein was drilled by Wilkerson in his right tricep, loading the bases with two away. Carlos Rivero (@Carlos_Rivero3) capitalized, blooping a two-run single into shallow right field, scoring Haniger and Peralta on the play.
Buschmann maintained Reno’s 3-0 edge until the fifth, when Borenstein smacked his sixth home run out to deep right, doubling the lead to six.
Colorado Springs (44-51) cracked the seal against Buschmann in the seventh, scoring once on a two-out dinger off the bat of Michael Reed, his fourth of the season.
In the eighth, Haniger capped his four-hit night with a run-scoring single to left, plating Sean Jamieson (@SeanJay04) who had previously doubled. Haniger’s four-hit performance was the sixth of his career and first since
At the century mark in pitches through eight frames, Buschmann entered for the ninth but couldn’t put the finishing touches on a complete-game effort. Instead, a single, walk and RBI single all came with one out, knocking him out of the game. Evan Marshall (@emarsh31) was summoned from the bullpen, and after a walk, struck out Keon Broxton before inducing a game-ending fielder’s choice to third.
Buschmann (7-6) won his fifth consecutive decision behind a season-high eight strikeouts, while Wilkerson (0-2) suffered the loss after allowing six runs – five earned – on eight hits over five innings.
The Aces extended Colorado Springs’ losing streak to eight games overall. The Sky Sox also have dropped 11 straight games away from home.
The Aces hit the road for a four-game series against the Las Vegas 51s on Friday. First pitch from Cashman Field is set for 7:05 p.m. PT. Reno will send left-hander Anthony Banda (1-2, 5.32) to the mound, while southpaw Duane Below (5-7, 4.57) will toe the rubber for Las Vegas.