Kyle Jensen (@TheKJensen42) hit his 26th home run, and Edwin Escobar fired a season-high 7 2/3 innings as the Reno Aces recorded a 3-1 victory over the Salt Lake Bees on Wednesday night at Greater Nevada Field. Jensen drove in another run with a single in his second at-bat, giving him a league-best 103 runs batted in.
The Aces (63-56) grabbed their third consecutive 2-0 advantage in as many nights, thanks to Jensen’s support of Escobar. Jensen’s two-out homer in the first inning and run-scoring single in the third provided the early runs, and unlike the previous two outcomes, their third straight two-run advantage of the series held up.
Salt Lake (55-61) plated their lone run on a two-out triple by Brendan Ryan in the fourth, bringing home Sherman Johnson who drew the second of three walks issued by Escobar.
Reno’s southpaw settled in afterwards, allowing three hits and a free pass over his final 3 2/3 innings, inducing a pair of double plays to minimize damage.
The Aces added an insurance run in the fifth on Ildemaro Vargas’ (@ildemaro_tigre) second Triple-A homer, a bullet into Salt Lake’s right-field bullpen.
Escobar’s final walk knocked him out of the game, and after Yuhei Nakaushiro issued a five-pitch walk to Johnson, Silvino Bracho (@silvinobracho) entered and retired pinch-hitter Cal Towey on a deep lineout to the warning track in center field. Jimmie Sherfy then worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his seventh Triple-A save in as many chances.
Escobar (6-3) earned his first win at home in six starts in the Biggest Little City, limiting the Bees to one run on eight hits with five strikeouts. His counterpart, Kyle McGowin (5-10), suffered the loss, despite yielding three runs on six hits and one walk with seven punchouts over six strong frames.
Jack Reinheimer (@Reinheimer_08) and Jensen led the Aces’ offense with two hits apiece.
The win marked Reno’s third in 11 August contests and pulled them back within 6.5 games of first-place Tacoma in the Pacific Northern Division with 25 games remaining.
Following a league-wide off day, the Aces open an eight-game road trip on Friday night with game one of a four-game series at Nashville. First pitch from First Tennessee Park is set for 5:05 p.m. PT. Reno will send right-hander Matt Buschmann (7-8, 5.30) to the bump, opposite Sounds righty Daniel Mengden (5-1, 1.46).