Aces Increase Division Lead Three with Win in Vegas
The Aces (75-57) won for a second straight night over the Las Vegas 51s (52-80) by a score of 4-2 in game two of the four-game set at Cashman Field. Kristopher Negron led the way offensively for Reno with his two-for-four, two RBI night while Christian Walker extended his MiLB RBI lead to 112. Starter Taylor Clarke was spectacular, earning his third win in his fifth Aces bid in front of a crowd of over 9,000 after he dealt five innings of one-run, four-hit ball while striking out seven. With their fourth win in five games, the Aces go up three games in the division and decrease their magic number to seven with 10 regular season games remaining.
After the Aces stranded the bases loaded to start the game, Las Vegas began the scoring right off the bat with a run in the first inning when Victor Cruzado and Phillip Evans hit a double each to take a 1-0 advantage.
In the third frame, after Socrates Brito knocked a one-out single and stole second base, Walker sent a double deep and off the center field wall to plate Brito and tie the game at 1-1 while collecting his 34th two-bagger of the campaign to enter into a league tie for first in the category. In the fourth, the Aces took the lead 2-1 after starter Clarke helped his cause with a sacrifice fly ball deep enough to left field to score Evan Marzilli, who led off the inning with a double.
Reno continued the scoring trend for a third consecutive inning in the fifth started by Zach Borenstein when he reached second base on a throwing error by 51s shortstop Phillip Evans with two outs. Negron followed with a soft line drive single in left field to bring around Borenstein to increase the lead to 3-1.
In the sixth, after Clarke exited the contest, reliever David Carpenter allowed a leadoff triple to Evans followed by a walk to Travis Snider and RBI base hit to Jayce Boyd to tack on a second run and cut the deficit to within a run at 3-2. Louis Coleman replaced Carpenter and was able to finish the inning without any more damage when he flew Xorge Carrillo out to Borenstein, who completed a double play by throwing a tagging Snider at third base, and struck out Jhoan Urena to end the frame.
The Aces answered back right away in the top of the seventh with two outs when Walker sparked the inning with his second hit of the night. After Borenstein walked to put Walker in scoring position, Negron lined a single up the middle to record his second RBI of the night and increasing Reno's lead to 4-2.
Coleman completed his outing after two shutout innings while striking out three batters. Jared Miller tossed one inning of one-hit ball with two strikeouts in his 19th Aces appearance. Closer Jimmie Sherfy closed out the game with one inning of hitless, one-strikeout ball, marking his 18th save in 2017, which is good for second in the PCL.
The Aces continue into game three of the series against Las Vegas tomorrow at 7:05 p.m. at Cashman Field.