The Reno Aces defeated in-state rival Las Vegas 51’s 6-3 on Thursday night at Cashman Field to remain two games up of Fresno for the Pacific Northern Division lead. Offensively, the Aces were led by 2017 PCL All-Star Ildemaro Vargas who went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and a walk. Jake Buchanan tossed 5.2 innings of shutout baseball, earning his 7th win of the 2017 campaign.
Rested after a league-wide off day, the Aces wasted little time getting into the scoring column. Reno plated three runs in the top half of the first inning thanks to a RBI fielder’s choice from Zach Borenstein and Kristopher Negron’s 13th home run of the season. Ildemaro Vargas got the inning started, drawing a walk from Las Vegas starter Mitch Atkins. Jack Reinheimer moved Vargas up 90 feet with a single and Borenstein drove Vargas in with a ground ball to shortstop. With Borenstein on first base, Negron launched a line drive over the left field wall to give Reno a 3-0 advantage.
The Aces tacked on a fourth run in the top of the fourth inning. Catcher Ronnie Freeman started the inning with a double off the left field wall. Reno then loaded the bases after a fielding error by Josh Rodriguez put Buchanan on base and a Vargas single. Reinheimer plated Freeman on a deep sacrifice fly to center field, extending the Reno lead to 4-0.
Reno would add two additional runs in the top of the sixth, extending the lead to 6-0. Ronnie Freeman walked and advanced to second on an Ildemaro Vargas single. Reinheimer doubled home Freeman and Vargas before Borenstein grounded into a double play to end the Reno threat.
Las Vegas responded with three of their own in the home half of the seventh inning. Back-to-back walks to Travis Taijeron, and Josh Rodriguez set the table for Xorge Carrillo. Carrillo singled to right field, scoring Taijeron and moving Rodriguez to third base. The next batter, Jhoan Urena, followed with a triple to clear the bases and narrow the Aces lead to 6-3.
Silvino Bracho came on in the eighth inning and notched a five-out save, his seventh of the season. The win keeps the Aces two games up in the division and lowers their magic number to nine.