The Reno Aces locked in their fourth win in six meetings against the Las Vegas 51s Sunday afternoon as Ketel Marte collected his 100th hit of the season in the 7-3 win. Anthony Banda collected his sixth win of the 2017 campaign despite surrendering seven walks after five and two-third innings of work while giving up three runs on five hits with seven strikeouts. The team's 44th victory increases their division lead to seven games after a comeback win by Salt Lake over Tacoma.
The Aces got to an early start in game two after Ildemaro Vargas reached base on a fielding error and was followed by Marte's full-count, two-run home run to right field to put the Aces up 2-0. In the second inning, after 51s Josh Rodriguez matched with a home run to cut the lead to within a run, the Aces responded with one right back in the bottom half after Zach Borenstein led off the inning with a double and Ronnie Freeman batted him in on a groundout.
In the fifth, after back-to-back, one-out hits by Vargas and Marte, who scorched a double to record his 100th hit of the season, Christian Walker came in the clutch with a ground ball single that sneaked up the middle to bring in both runners and increase Reno's advantage to 5-1.
Las Vegas sparked momentum in the sixth, however, bringing the score to within two runs on Jio Mier's two-run home run to left field. Banda's night was complete after striking out Tyler Pill for the second out of the inning and was replaced by righty Erik Davis who finished the frame without any further damage.
In the bottom half, the Aces turned it on one last time to put two final runs across. Reno's first came across on Carlos Rivero's (3-for-4, RBI) leadoff second-pitch home run over the left field wall. Following Rivero's at-bat, Freeman, Vargas, and Marte loaded the bases with one out on two walks and a single, and Walker took advantage with a sacrifice fly to centerfield to credit him with his third RBI of the game and give the Aces their seventh and final run.
Erik Davis recorded his sixth hold in one and one-third shutout innings, holding the opposing to just two hits. Matt Stites and Jake Barrett combined for two shutout innings with three strikeouts total.
The Aces continue the four-game series against Las Vegas with game three tomorrow at 7:05 p.m. Following the Las Vegas series, the Aces will welcome the Tacoma Rainiers to Greater Nevada Field for four games starting Thursday, June 22.