The Fresno Grizzlies used an eight-run ninth inning to defeat the Reno Aces by a 10-4 score in the opener of a four-game series on Saturday night at Greater Nevada Field. Fresno sent 12 men to the plate in the frame, recording eight hits and drawing a walk while benefiting from a Reno throwing error.
With the victory, the Grizzlies (58-48) pulled to within a half-game of the second-place Aces (59-48) in the Pacific Northern Division. Combined with Tacoma’s walk-off win, Reno is now four games behind the Rainiers for the division lead.
Fresno opened the scoring with a two-out RBI single in the second. The Aces answered with three runs in the home half on a solo home run from Zach Borenstein and RBI singles by Carlos Rivero (@Carlos_Rivero3) and Mark Thomas.
Each team put up six straight zeroes following the early excitement. In the eighth, a walk and two singles produced a Fresno run to cut the Aces’ lead to 3-2. Reno responded with base hits from Borenstein, Gabby Guerrero and Rivero to manufacture what looked to be an insurance run.
In the decisive ninth, the Grizzlies sent nine batters to the plate and scored eight runs before making an out, taking a 10-4 lead to produce the final margin. The frame saw six singles, one double and one triple for Fresno against Aces relievers Silvino Bracho (@silvinobracho) and Matt Capps (@MattCapps55), with the aid of the aforementioned walk and Reno miscue. The loss was just the Aces’ third in 51 games when leading after eight innings.
The ninth-inning collapse ruined one of the best outings of the year for Aces starter Edwin Escobar. The Venezuela native worked a season-high 7 1/3 innings, allowing two earned runs on six hits with two walks and six strikeouts. The southpaw allowed fewer than four earned runs for the first time in six home starts with the Aces, and the six strikeouts were the most he has posted in a start at Greater Nevada Field this year.
Rivero led Reno at the plate, going 3-for-3 with two RBI, a walk and a run scored. Borenstein also excelled with the bat, going 3-for-4 with an RBI, two runs scored and two extra-base hits. Leadoff man Ildemaro Vargas (@ildemaro_tigre) also had three knocks to notch his seventh multi-hit game in 13 contests with the Aces since July 17.
The Aces and Grizzlies continue their four-game series with game two on Sunday night. First pitch from Greater Nevada Field is set for 6:05 p.m. PT. Reno will send right-hander Matt Buschmann (7-7, 5.10) to the mound, while righty Cesar Valdez (9-1, 3.20) gets the ball for Fresno.
Reno Aces Press Release