After trailing 4-0 six batters into their Friday night affair against the Sacramento River Cats, the Reno Aces rallied for a 5-4 victory in front of 9,087 fans at Greater Nevada Field. Right-hander Shelby Miller (@ShelbyMiller19) rebounded from the rough start, retiring 17 consecutive batters at one point to earn his second win with the Aces in three outings.
Sacramento (47-60) mounted a 4-0 lead in the first against Miller, thanks to a two-run double by Andrew Susac after a single, walk, wild pitch, and walk loaded the bases with no outs. Moments after Susac’s two-bagger, Austin Slater chopped a two-run single down the right-field line, doubling the lead to four.
Reno (59-47) slowly chipped away against River Cats starter Joan Gregorio, despite fanning 10 times over five innings against the right-hander. Miller helped himself with two away in the second, lining a first-pitch single up the middle, scoring Carlos Rivero (@Carlos_Rivero3) from second.
Gregorio struck out two batters apiece in the third and fourth inning before surrendering two more runs on three hits in the fifth. Ildemaro Vargas (@ildemaro_tigre) ignited the rally with a one-out single, followed by a stolen base and throwing error on Susac. After a strikeout, Mitch Haniger (@M_Hanny19) lined a run-scoring double into the left-field corner, bringing the Aces within two. Kyle Jensen (@TheKJensen42) then pounded an RBI double off the wall in center to make it 4-3.
While the Aces’ bats came to life, Miller settled in on the bump, his only blemish after the first being a two-out walk to Kelby Tomlinson in the sixth.
Riding momentum, Reno capped the comeback in the bottom half on a pinch-hit two-run double by Zach Borenstein. Rivero and Dan Rohlfing (@DanRohlfing) scored on the play, and Reno’s bullpen combination of Adam Loewen, Silvino Bracho (@silvinobracho) and Jimmie Sherfy recorded the final nine outs, moving the Aces to a season-high 12 games over .500.
Facing Loewen, the River Cats left the tying run at third in the seventh. They failed again in the ninth against Sherfy after placing runners at the corners on a walk, sacrifice bunt and infield single. Sherfy completed his 24th save in 24 opportunities between Visalia, Mobile and Reno, inducing a double play off the bat of Gorkys Hernandez. The win pushed Reno’s July record to 17-9, including a league-best 13-3 mark after the All-Star break.
Miller (2-0) picked up the win after throwing six innings of four-hit, four-run ball. He walked three and struck out four. Jake Dunning (2-3) suffered the loss after allowing two runs on two hits and two walks in one inning of relief.
Sherfy lowered his 2016 ERA to a miniscule 0.41, having yielded just two solo homers in 43 2/3 innings. Minor League opponents are batting just .106 (15-for-141) against the 24-year-old this season.
Vargas and Jensen collected two-hit performances to pace the offense.
The Aces continue their eight-game homestand on Saturday when they welcome the Fresno Grizzlies to town for a four-game set. First pitch from Greater Nevada Field is set for 7:05 p.m. PT. Reno will send left-hander Edwin Escobar (5-2, 4.83) to the mound, while righty Joe Musgrove (5-3, 3.81) gets the nod for Fresno.