Diamondbacks number one prospect Anthony Banda got the start for Reno in game one of a four-game set against the Iowa Cubs on Tuesday night. Banda tossed 6.0 innings one one-run baseball, adding eight strikeouts to ensure the victory. Offensively, the Aces were held in check, finishing with just four hits on the evening. Ketel Marte finished the game 0-for-2 ending his career-high 22 game hit streak.
Banda was rolling early – striking out four batters in his first three innings of work. Jeimer Candelario tagged Banda for a double in the bottom of the first inning. The southpaw would not allow another base hit until the bottom of the fifth inning. Opposing the Texas Native was Seth Frankoff. The I-Cubs right-hander was on cruise control for most of the evening – finishing with 7.0 innings, four hits, and just two earned runs.
A leadoff Jeremy Hazelbaker double in the top of the second inning set the table for smoking-hot Ronnie Freeman. With a 0-1 count, Freeman laced a line drive up the middle to score Hazelbaker and give the Aces their first lead of the ballgame. Freeman (9-18, .500 in his last five games) entered tonight riding a four-game hit streak and extended it tonight with a 1-for-3 performance.
Reno would score their final run of the game in the top of the sixth inning. Jack Reinheimer leadoff with a single to left field. Ketel Marte then drew a walk – advancing to second base on an Oswaldo Arcia groundout. The Pacific Coast League RBI leader Christian Walker then skied a ball to the warning track in left field for a sacrifice fly to give the Aces a 2-1 lead. The RBI gave Walker 49 on the season, which leads all of minor league baseball.
The Aces bullpen dominated the final three innings of tonight’s contest – allowing just one baserunner. Kaleb Fleck and Jake Barrett each picked up a hold and Jimmie Sherfy recorded his third save of the season.