The Reno Aces jumped on former Bishop Manogue High School standout Joe Wieland, using Kyle Jensen’s (@TheKJensen42) 30th homer and four-RBI performance to down the first-place Tacoma Rainiers, 12-3, on Friday night at Greater Nevada Field. Playing in front of 8,983 in attendance, Jensen’s league-leading blast dinged the right-field foul pole, providing more than enough support for Aces starter Billy Buckner.
Reno (72-62) hung a pair of four-run innings on Wieland to bury the Rainiers in an insurmountable hole. ldemaro Vargas (@ildemaro_tigre) set the tone with a leadoff single to center and swipe of second base, preceding an RBI triple by Sócrates Brito (@SocratesBrito). Following a free pass to Mitch Haniger (@M_Hanny19), Jensen lofted his three-run homer down the right-field line.
The Aces added another run in the third on two infield singles, two stolen bases and a Jensen sacrifice fly, ahead of their second four-run frame of the night. Reno tallied five hits in the next inning, highlighted with a run-scoring single by Dan Rohlfing (@DanRohlfing) and RBI doubles off the bats of Haniger and Peter O’Brien.
Tacoma (75-58) cracked the scoring against Buckner in the top half of the fourth, thanks to a triple by Stefen Romero and wild pitch. Romero then drilled his 21st home run out to center in the sixth to make it 9-2.
In the eighth, two hits and two errors gave the Rainiers their third run of the game, but Todd Glaesmann (@toddglaesmann22) drilled his sixth homer and second in as many nights out to left, pushing Reno’s advantage back to seven. Later in the inning, Brito roped his second run-scoring triple of the night into left-center, before scoring on a Haniger sacrifice fly.
Billy Buckner (1-0) picked up the win with seven innings of two-run ball. He scattered eight hits and one walk with two punchouts in the 13th win of his Aces’ career after racking up 12 between the 2009-10 seasons. Wieland (12-6) suffered his second loss of the season to Reno after allowing nine earned runs on a season-high 11 hits with two walks and four strikeouts.
A diving stop by Vargas at second and diving catch by Brito in left field in the second helped strand a leadoff double on the bases. With a runner at second and two outs in the third, Glaesmann robbed Dan Vogelbach of an RBI knock with a sliding catch in center.
Vargas, Brito, Haniger and Jensen collected 10 hits atop the order. Both Brito and Jensen pushed their hitting streak to 10 games, respectively. The Aces totaled 15 knocks as a team for a third consecutive game, the first time they’ve had three straight 15-plus hit games since May 24-26, 2015, on a road trip to Omaha and Iowa.
Reno has outscored the Rainiers 36-15 through the first three games of the five-game set.
The Aces tightened Tacoma’s lead in the Pacific Northern Division to 3.5 games with the victory. Reno is 8-2 this season against the Rainiers, moving their all-time record against Seattle’s top affiliate to an astounding 81-41.
The Aces and Rainiers continue their five-game series with game four on Saturday night. First pitch from Greater Nevada Field is set for 7:05 p.m. PT. Right-hander Matt Buschmann (8-10, 5.33) will toe the rubber for Reno, while Tacoma will send righty Jarrett Grube (1-4, 3.94) to the mound.