The Reno Aces (12-9) opened their second homestand of the 2017 season with an 8-1 victory over the Fresno Grizzlies (9-12) Thursday night at Greater Nevada Field. Aces starter, Keyvius Sampson (2-1) tossed five shutout innings and collected seven strikeouts, earning his second win, while infielder Ketel Marte (2-for-5) extended his hitting streak to 13 games.
Sampson, who allowed six walks through his five frames, surrendered his only two hits of the game in the fifth – back-to-back singles by Fresno's one-two batters Derek Fisher and Preston Tucker.
Marte, who was hitless through three plate appearances, knocked his 36th hit in the seventh inning in his fourth at bat. He finished with one more hit in the eighth to bring his total hits in April to 37, and still leads all of Minor and Major League Baseball in the hit category.
The Aces got on the board coming on the first two hits of the game in the second. After a one-out walk to Jack Reinheimer (2-for-3), outfielder Reymond Fuentes (2-for-4) knocked his first pitch seen off the left field wall for an RBI double. Kristopher Negron (1-for-2, 2 RBI) followed suit in the very next at bat with a double of his own off of the right center field wall to score Fuentes, and was thrown out after attempting to extend a triple.
In the fifth, Ildemaro Vargas (2-for-4) came in clutch with a key two-out RBI line drive single to left field to score the Aces third run, Negron, who walked, stole second and advanced to third on a fly out by catcher Ronnie Freeman.
Fresno got their only run in the sixth after Jack Mayfield grounded to third, reaching on a fielding error and scoring Reid Brignac, who struck a one-out double off of Aces' reliever Kaleb Fleck and moved to third on Juan Centeno's ground out to second.
Reno matched in the bottom of the sixth with a run of their own when Reinheimer knocked in his 12th RBI of the season, Christian Walker (1-for-4), who led off with a single and was backed up by an Arcia double, to go up 4-1.
The Aces added four insurance runs in the seventh and eighth innings coming in on six hits and two errors to give Reno the 8-1 advantage.
Relievers Fleck and Brian Matusz combined to go three innings after Sampson's departure, and only allowed three hits. Jimmie Sherfy closed out the three-plus hour game in the ninth with a one hit inning of his own.
The Aces return to Greater Nevada Field with game two of the four-game set against the Fresno Grizzlies Friday, April 28 at 6:35 p.m.