The Reno Aces won their fourth consecutive game 9-7 on Tuesday night in the first game of the second road series against the Oklahoma City Dodgers at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. Jack Reinheimer, Zach Borenstein and Willians Astudillo collected multi-hit nights as Christian Walker, Kristopher Negrón and Rudy Flores all homered in the contest. Reno starter Braden Shipley collected his first victory since May 21 while also breaking a five-game losing skid. He finished the night after five innings with three runs allowed on 10 hits and four strikeouts.
The Aces struck in the first inning of the three hour and forty-three minute contest after red-hot Reinheimer started the first half with a one-out single to center field. After Walker reached base on balls, Astudillo came up with two out and brought around Reinheimer on his single up the middle to make it a 1-0 Aces advantage.
Shipley, who had a scoreless two-hit first inning, ran into some trouble in the bottom of the second after a leadoff walk to Max Muncy. Following the walk, Kyle Farmer knocked his 13th double to put both runners in scoring position with no out and former Ace Mike Freeman tied the game a single to the right side. After Dodgers' starter Scott Barlow struck out, Alex Verdugo made it a 2-1 game with a sacrifice fly ball to center field, scoring Farmer.
Reno put the ballgame back in their hands in the third and fourth innings. In the third, Walker led off with a two-strike home run to deep left field to tie the game at 2-2, marking his 23rd of the season and first home run since before the All-Star break on July 7. In the fourth, Negrón came in the clutch once again and smacked the first pitch over the left field wall to give the Aces the 3-2 lead – his fifth round-tripper of the second half.
The Aces broke the game open in the fifth after scoring for the third consecutive inning with five runs on three hits. Reinheimer started the inning with a walk, and after stealing second base with one out, he scored on Borenstein's single to left field. Astudillo followed up and reached on a ground ball error while Kevin Medrano sailed a triple to the right field alley to clear the bases. With one out, Negrón hit a fielder's choice ground ball to short that resulted in no outs on the play and Conger backed it up with a walk to load the bases. With two out and Tommy Layne in for the starter Barlow, Jeremy Hazelbaker came through with a two-run single to make it an 8-2 Aces advantage.
After Calhoun made it an 8-3 ballgame in the fifth on his solo home run, the Dodgers went scoreless until Verdugo came up in the bottom of the eighth with two runners on. Verdugo hit a deep fly to right field which ricocheted off of the glove of Borenstein and sailed over the wall to credit him with a home run, minimizing the Aces lead to 8-6.
Flores gave Reno the three-run cushion in the ninth on his pinch-hit, two-out solo home run to the deepest part of Bricktown in Oklahoma City to make it a 9-6 lead. It marked the second Aces pinch-hit home run of the road trip. In the bottom half of the ninth, the Dodgers were able to put one more across on one hit but were unable to make the late comeback with the potential go-ahead runs on base.
The Aces sent three relievers to the mound following Shipley's exit. Eric Jokisch tossed two shutout innings while Silvino Bracho allowed three runs on a home run. Jimmie Sherfy completed the ninth and marked his 15th save of 2017, which is good for a tie for first in saves in the Pacific Coast League.
The victory brings the Aces to a record of 61-42 on the season. Reno will square off against the Dodgers in game two tomorrow at 5:05 p.m. PT with right-hander Frank Duncan tossing for the Aces versus Dodgers' Walker Buehler. The Aces return to Greater Nevada Field Saturday, July 29 for a four-game set against the Memphis Redbirds.