Shelby Miller (@ShelbyMiller19) fired eight innings of three-run ball and A.J. Pollock doubled and scored a run, guiding the Reno Aces past the Sacramento River Cats, 7-3, on Saturday night at Greater Nevada Field. Pitching in front of 8,480 fans, Miller delivered his fifth quality start in seven outings for Reno.
The Aces (69-59) overcame an early 1-0 deficit with two runs in the third and two more in the fifth. Pollock’s two-bagger came with one away in the third, and an eventual throwing error by Joan Gregorio on a pickoff to third base skipped past Ali Castillo, allowing Pollock to race home for the tying run. Kyle Jensen (@TheKJensen42) then doubled and with two outs, scored on a base hit up the middle by Sócrates Brito (@SocratesBrito).
Leading 2-1, Reno added a pair of runs two frames later, thanks to the first of two triples in the game by Jack Reinheimer (@Reinheimer_08). The 24-year-old’s first three-bagger brought home Jensen and Brito, pushing Reno’s advantage to three. In the seventh, the East Carolina product tripled again, becoming the 10th player in Aces history to notch two triples in a single game.
Reno tacked on another run in the sixth after Miller laced a one-out double off the right-field fence. Pollock brought Miller in from third on a fielder’s choice to shortstop, making it 5-1.
Sacramento (59-69) chipped away in the seventh, scoring their final two runs against Miller. Austin Slater belted his second homer of the night out to right, bringing the visitors within three. Singles by Jarrett Parker and Grant Green set up a run-scoring double play, but the River Cats got no closer, falling to 2-7 against Reno this season.
The Aces responded with two runs in the eighth against Alex Torres on two singles, a sacrifice bunt, wild pitch and fielder’s choice by Pollock which provided the final margin.
Miller (5-1) scattered eight hits and one walk with six strikeouts over eight strong innings. Gregorio fell to 4-8 after surrendering four runs – two earned – on six hits and four walks with four punchouts over five frames. Jimmie Sherfy recorded the final two outs in the ninth for his 10th Triple-A save in 11 chances and 28th in 29 opportunities this year.
Reinheimer led the charge for Reno, going 3-for-4 with two RBI. Ronnie Freeman (@Freeforall16) collected his first multi-hit game as well, finishing 2-for-3 with a double, walk and run scored.
The Aces and River Cats continue their four-game series with game two on Sunday afternoon. First pitch from Greater Nevada Field is set for 1:05 p.m. PT. Right-hander Billy Buckner (0-0, -.--) will get the ball for Reno, while Sacramento will send left-hander Ty Blach (13-7, 3.49) to the mound.