The Reno Aces returned to Greater Nevada Field Thursday night after a three-day All-Star break to face the El Paso Chihuahuas. Reno Starter Jake Buchanan took the mound for just the second time in an Aces uniform. The right-hander tossed 5.2 innings and allowed just one run on two hits while striking out three, earning his first Aces win of the season. Kristopher Negrón led the Aces offensively, finishing 2-for-4 with two home runs and three RBI.
El Paso got into the scoring column first with a single run in the top of the fourth inning. Outfielder Rafael Ortega hit his fifth triple of the season off into the right-center field gap to start the rally. With two outs, Ryan Schimpf hit a deep fly ball to center fielder Jeremy Hazelbaker to bring in Ortega. El Paso took the 1-0 lead into the bottom of the fourth, but it didn't last long.
Reno responded with five runs in the bottom of the fourth inning thanks to back-to-back home runs by Hank Conger and Negrón. The inning got started with an Oswaldo Arcia leadoff base hit. Jack Reinheimer followed with a single to the right fielder Jabari Blash, who then had his throw in muffed by Chase d'Arnaud advancing Arcia to third. Rudy Flores drove in Arcia to tie the game at one. Back-to-back homers by Negrón and Conger sent the Aces into the top of the fifth inning with a 5-1 lead.
Again, by way of the long ball, Reno extended their lead in the bottom of the sixth. Negrón launched his second home run of the evening to give Reno a commanding 6-1 advantage. Negrón entered Thursday night's contest with just four homers. His two-home run night was the first Aces player since A.J. Pollock on June 30 against El Paso.
Blash plated the second and final run of the night for the Chihuahuas in the seventh after he started the inning getting hit by a pitch. With one out, Diego Goris lined out to Aces shortstop Reinheimer who tried to double up Blash at first, but it resulted in an out-of-play overthrow to send Blash to third. Rocky Gale took advantage and singled through the hole at shortstop to bring in Blash.
With the win, Reno moves to 55-36, still five games up on the Fresno Grizzlies in the division standings. The Aces continue the four-game set against El Paso with game two tomorrow at Greater Nevada Field. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.