The Aces claimed the 4-3 victory over the Nashville Sounds in the first game of the four-game set to Thursday night at Greater Nevada Field. Kristopher Negrón and Willians Astudillo led the Aces offense once again. Negron finished two-for-three with two doubles and a run scored from second base on a sacrifice fly ball while Astudillo collected two RBI on his fourth and game-tying home run. Minor League RBI leader Christian Walker extended his count to 99 total on his 26th home run of the season. Starter Jake Buchanan (3-0) notched his third win of the campaign after battling through five innings while giving up three runs on eight hits. The Aces scored their four runs on just six hits, five of which were for extra bases.
Oakland's top affiliate initiated the scoring in the third inning with three runs on five hits. With one out, Melvin Mercedes flared a short fly ball on the left field line and stretched out a double. After a wild pitch sent him to third base, Jaff Decker grounded to the first base to score the first run of the game. The Sounds rallied with four consecutive two-out hits off or Aces Buchanan to plate two more or extend their lead to 3-0.
Entering the bottom of the fourth without a hit or base runner, Walker kick started Reno's offense with a solo home run the first pitch he saw, a Frankie Montas' 100 mph fastball, to make it a two-run ballgame. Zach Borenstein followed suit with a double to deep centerfield and Astudillo evened the game at 3-3 with his first pitch home run over the left-center wall.
In the fifth, the Aces momentum continued. After reliever Logan Bawcom replaced starter Montas, Kristopher Negrón knocked his first hit of the game – a double to right field. Evan Marzilli backed it up with a fly ball caught in left-center field that was deep enough for Negrón to tag and score on from second base, giving Reno the 4-3 advantage and tagging Marzilli with his first Aces RBI in 2017.
Silvino Bracho collected his fifth Aces save after a three-strikeout ninth inning to close out the two hour and fifty-five minute contest. Relievers Jared Miller and J.J. Hoover combined for three innings of one-hit ball and four strikeouts.
The victory brings the Aces to a record of 65-46 on the season, which is still good for one game back of first-place Fresno in the Pacific North division. Reno will continue the homestand with game two of the four-game set against the Nashville Sounds, Triple-A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics, tomorrow, August 4. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m