The Aces (73-57) took the season series over the Fresno Grizzlies (71-59) after victorious 3-1 in the final game of the set thanks to Zach Borenstein's two-run clutch home run in the seventh inning to put Reno ahead on Tuesday night at Greater Nevada Field. Starter Eric Jokisch, who did not get a decision, was spectacular in the playoff-like matchup in front of a crowd of over 4,600 after he dealt six innings of one-run, four-hit ball while striking out three. With the win, the Aces division lead extends to two with 12 regular season games remaining. The victory also sealed the Aces bid for a playoff berth in case of a season-ending tie with Fresno.
The contest went scoreless through the first four frames. In the fifth, Fresno was first to break the rhythm when catcher Garrett Stubbs knocked a one-out double. After Stubbs stole third base during the next at bat and was halted on a line drive caught by Kristopher Negron for the second out, Tony Kemp hit a hard ground ball that skipped past the glove of Ildemaro Vargas to make it a 1-0 Fresno lead.
The Aces, who were just 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position, failed to cross a run in four consecutive innings while having zero or no outs recorded and after gifted seven walks by Fresno starter Mike Hauschild. In Reno's fourth and fifth frames, they loaded the bases back-to-back times and were unsuccessful in plating a run.
Finally, in the seventh inning, with one out, Christian Walker knocked a two-strike double to left field. Then, on his sixth pitch seen in a 2-2 count, Borenstein launched a home run that traveled 434', clearing the batter's eye, and put the Aces up by a score of 2-1. Aces bats were able to manufacture an insurance run after Jack Reinheimer recorded a single and scored on Negron's slow grounder through the hole at second base to make it a 3-1 advantage.
The Grizzlies threatened once more in the eighth inning after a single and a walk with one out to bring the go-ahead run to the plate, but would leave the runners stranded after back-to-back strikeouts by reliever Louis Coleman.
Silvino Bracho tossed a clean one-two-three ninth inning with one strikeout to earn his sixth save of the season with the Aces. Southpaw Jared Miller, who tossed one inning of relief following Jokisch, notched his third win with a hitless, scoreless frame. Coleman marked his seventh hold for a scoreless eighth inning and struck out two batters.
The Aces hit the road for two four-game sets against Las Vegas and Albuquerque. Reno will return home to Greater Nevada Field for four final regular season home games Labor Day weekend, September 1-4, against Albuquerque.