The Reno Aces fell to the Oklahoma City Dodgers tonight by a score of 4-0. D-backs number one prospect Anthony Banda made his first Triple-A start since being optioned from Arizona last week. The southpaw went 6.0 innings and allowed just four runs on six hits while striking out seven. Banda squared off against the Pacific Coast league strikeout leader Wilmer Font. Font punched out nine Reno batters, moving his strikeout total to 147 on the year.
The Dodgers got into the scoring column early against the Reno left-hander. Willie Calhoun drew a four-pitch walk with two outs in the bottom of the first inning. O’kayea Dickson and Edwin Rios each singled to drive home Calhoun and give OKC their first lead of the ballgame.
In the second inning, Bobby Wilson leadoff the inning with a ground-rule double to left-center field. Jeremy Hazelbaker and Kristopher Negron converged into the left-center field gap expecting a hard bounce off the wall, but the ball lodged between the upper chain-link fence and padded five-foot wall. Mike Freeman plated Wilson three pitches later with a soft ground ball through the infield and into center field.
From there, both Font and Banda were in cruise control, allowing just one combined hit from the third inning to the sixth. Oklahoma City again got to Banda in the sixth inning, plating two on a Scott Van Slyke blast around the left field foul pole. Font finished with a final line of 6.0 IP, four hits, one walk and nine strikeouts.
Each team’s relievers were dominant tonight. Erik Davis came on for Banda in the top of the 7th. The Stanford Cardinal alum tossed two perfect innings and struck out two in the process. Unfortunately for Reno, Justin Marks scattered three hits in his three innings of work and earned his third save of the season. Font moves to 8-5 on the year with the victory and Banda falls to 7-6.
The loss moves Reno to a record to 61-44 on the season, in jeopardy of sliding into second place in the Pacific Northern Division contingent on the result of the Fresno Grizzlies contest tonight. Reno will wrap up the series in Oklahoma City tomorrow evening before heading back to Greater Nevada Field to take on the Memphis Redbirds Saturday night.