The Reno Aces fell 6-5 in the twelfth inning to the Salt Lake Bees Monday night at Smith's Park after coming back to tie the game in the top of the ninth inning. The loss brings Reno to 43-34 on the season, eight games up in the Pacific North Division over second-place Tacoma.
Reno cracked open the scoring column first in the series in the top of the second inning. After Kristopher Negrón initiated the inning with a one-out single to right field, Hank Conger and Ildemaro Vargas came in the clutch with back-to-back, two-out doubles to give the Aces their first two runs. Ketel Marte made it a 3-0 lead after he struck a soft line drive that muffed off of the glove of Bees second baseman Rey Navarro.
After four straight outs to begin his 15th start, Aces righty Frank Duncan surrendered Salt Lake's first run of the contest on Cesar Puello's long ball to left field in the bottom of the second. The Bees would collect three consecutive hits following the home run, scoring a second run in the process, but stranded the tying run on third base and cut the Aces lead to 3-2.
In the fourth, the Bees scratched across the tying run after two hits in the inning. Puello knocked his second hit of the game with one out and proceeded to steal second and third base during Nolan Fontana's at bat. After Fontana walked to put runners on the corners, designated hitter Dustin Ackley struck a RBI single to right field to even the score, but Duncan was able to strand the potential go ahead runs after two consecutive outs.
After the Aces stranded the bases loaded in the top of the fifth and sixth, Salt Lake made the missed opportunities hurt even more. In the bottom of the fifth, the Bees took their first lead of the contest thanks to Michael Bourn's solo home run to right field. In the next inning, Salt Lake added another run on a two-out wild pitch to bring across Puello for the third time in the game.
In the eighth, the Aces moved to within a run of the Bees initiated on Socrates Brito's single through the hole at second inning with one out. Following Brito's hit, Conger followed suit, but with a double down the right field line to bring the tying run into scoring position. Vargas was able to produce a RBI groundout to plate Reno's fourth run.
With momentum going into the ninth, Oswaldo Arcia led off with and lasered a single off of the right field wall and was followed by a walk to Christian Walker. With no out, Jack Reinheimer battled to a 3-2 count but went down swinging to record the first of the inning. Jeremy Hazelbaker then came up huge with a RBI triple that put across the tying run but was just short of getting the go ahead run in safely as Walker was just tagged at the plate on a bang-bang play, sending the game one of the series to extra innings.
After the Aces left the go-ahead runs on base in the tenth, eleventh and twelfth innings, the Bees put the game in the books off of reliever Daniel Gibson (0-1) in the bottom half of the twelfth when Fontana flared a sacrifice fly to centerfield to score Bourn from third after singling to lead off the inning.
The Aces continue the four-game series against Salt Lake with game two tomorrow at 6:05 p.m. at Smith's Park.