Shelby Miller (@ShelbyMiller19) twirled a shutout and Dan Rohlfing (@DanRohlfing) homered in a 1-0 doubleheader-opening victory for the Reno Aces, but the Salt Lake Bees won the nightcap, 9-3, behind a Cal Towey grand slam on Thursday night at Smith’s Ballpark.
Miller mastered the Bees (51-59) in game one, firing seven innings of three-hit ball. He walked one and fanned eight en route to the fifth complete-game shutout of his career and first in the minors.
Salt Lake’s best scoring chance came in the fourth after Kaleb Cowart doubled to open the inning. A sacrifice bunt moved him to third, but he was thrown out at the plate on a grounder to first. Limited in opportunities, the Bees failed to move a runner into scoring position over the final three innings in defeat.
Miller’s (3-0) counterpart, Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Week Troy Scribner (1-1), tossed his second complete game in as many Triple-A starts. Just five days removed from a two-hit shutout at Sacramento, the Salt Lake righty yielded three hits and two walks with five strikeouts over seven innings, but Rohlfing’s solo blast provided the game’s lone run and final margin.
The long ball for Rohlfing was his third of the season, matching his career high set in both 2013 and 2015.
In need of a doubleheader sweep, the Aces (61-52) saw an early game-two advantage slip away when the Bees erupted for six runs in the third inning.
Salt Lake struck first against John Omahen (@JohnnyOmahen), thanks to a leadoff double by Rafael Ortega and run-scoring fielder’s choice off the bat of Cowart.
Reno responded in the second on consecutive two-out doubles by Gabby Guerrero and Ed Lucas (@ELuke21), leveling the score at one. Kyle Jensen (@TheKJensen42) then gave the Aces a brief lead in the following inning on his 24th homer of the season, a two-run shot to left-center.
Given the two-run cushion, Omahen failed to get through the bottom half of the third. A two-out, two-run single by Sherman Johnson knotted the score and knocked Omahen out of the game. His successor, Jared Miller (@JaredMiller24), didn’t fare much better, walking Quintin Berry to reload the bases, setting up Towey’s grand slam.
An Angel Rosa home run and Nick Buss run-scoring single in the fourth capped the scoring.
Omahen (1-3) was tagged for five runs – four earned – on three hits and three walks over 2 2/3 innings. Lucas Luetge (1-1) picked up the win after tossing 2 1/3 scoreless innings in relief of Geoff Broussard, who recorded eight outs while allowing three earned runs on five hits.
Reno collected nine hits in the nightcap, including six for extra bases.
Yuhei Nakaushiro became the second Japanese-born player to appear for the Aces, joining Takashi Saito who pitched for Reno in 2012. The left-handed Nakaushiro threw 1 1/3 shutout innings, allowing two hits with three strikeouts.
The Aces and Bees continue their five-game series with game four slated for Friday night. First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m. PT. Reno will send left-hander Edwin Escobar (5-2, 4.60) to the bump, opposite Bees righty Kyle McGowin (4-9, 6.67).
Reno Aces Press Release