The Reno Aces fell by a score of 6-2 against the Fresno Grizzlies Saturday evening. Diamondbacks number one prospect Anthony Banda got the start for Reno in game three from Greater Nevada Field in front of 4,990 fans. The left-hander tossed four innings, allowing one run on four hits while striking out five. Over his last three starts, Banda has struck out five or more foes each time. Banda’s start tonight came after his best of the year where he struck out 11 in 5.2 innings of work against the El Paso Chihuahuas.
The Grizzlies got on the scoreboard first with one run in the top of the first inning. Jon Kemmer got the inning started with a one-out single. Third baseman Tyler White followed, reaching base on a fielder’s choice and Derek Fisher finished the with a two-out single up the middle.
Reno responded with one of their own in the bottom of the second inning off the bat of outfielder Kristopher Negron. Negron entered tonight’s contest with back-to-back RBI games against the Grizzlies. Negron now has five RBI in three games. The last time the speedy outfielder had more than two games in a row with a RBI came August 12 through 15 as a member of the Triple-A Iowa Cubs. Over that span, Negron went 5-for-13 with five RBI.
The bats went quiet for both sides from innings three through seven. Aces reliever Brian Matusz came in for Banda in the top of the fifth inning. The lefty gave the home side two innings of two-hit, scoreless baseball. Grant Sides entered in the top of the seventh inning and sat the Grizzlies down in order. The eighth inning proved to be a different Sides. The right-hander allowed four runs on four hits before being replaced by right-hander Jimmy Sherfy. Sherfy quickly stopped the damage with a 1-2-3 relief appearance.
The Grizzlies would tack on one more run in the top of the ninth inning to bring the score to 6-1. Christian Walker would lead off the home half of the ninth with his second home run in as many nights. The D-backs number 30 prospect now has seven long balls this season, good for third place in the Pacific Coast League. That would be it for the Reno offense for the night.
The five-run deficit was too much for the Aces to come back from. The loss puts the Aces at a record of 13-10 heading into the final game of the four-game series against Fresno. Reno will continue through their nine-game homestand at Greater Nevada Field tomorrow 1:05 p.m.