The Aces (77-58) dropped the storm-delayed series opener to the Albuquerque Isotopes (64-70) by a score of 6-2, marking their first loss in five games, at Isotopes Park on Monday night. Reno put up just seven hits on the night as they were held in check by Isotopes starter and recently named All-PCL left-handed pitcher Ryan Carpenter, who allowed six of the hits and just two runs with 10 strikeouts. With the loss mixed with Fresno's loss, the Aces continue to hold a three-game lead in the division and decrease their magic number to four with seven regular season games remaining.
Ildemaro Vargas, who collected two of the Aces total hit count, led the offense while Oswaldo Arcia and Zach Borenstein tallied the only RBIs in the contest for Reno. Starter Eric Jokisch, in his 20th start of the campaign, received his seventh loss after tossing five innings and allowing five runs on 10 hits with five strikeouts.
The Aces got on the board in the early going when they plated two runs on four hits in the top of the first inning. Jack Reinheimer started the inning with one out with his 18th double of the season. In the very next at bat, Arcia hit a soft grounder opposite of the infield shift to plate Reinheimer. Christian Walker followed with a third consecutive single and then, with two outs, Borenstein singled up the middle to make it a 2-0 lead.
After Albuquerque threatened in the first, but did not score, they kept pace in the second and took the lead after an aggressive six-hit half to plate four runs. Tom Murphy started the frame with a one-out single and was followed by Derrik Gibson's ground rule double to quickly put the tying run on second. Shortstop Daniel Castro added with the inning's third consecutive single to put the Isotopes within one. After a strikeout for the second out, another three consecutive singles would plate the next three runs to give Albuquerque the 4-2 advantage.
In the fifth, the Isotopes extended their lead with a solo run on two hits led by Noel Cuevas' and his triple to start the half. With one out, he was driven in on Murphy's single to left center field to take a 5-2 lead. Albuquerque added a sixth and final run of the contest in the eighth inning on four singles to manufacture a 6-2 advantage.
Following Jokisch's exit after the fifth inning, righty reliever Erik Davis came in with two strong innings of shutout, hitless ball with one strikeout. Kaleb Fleck tossed the eighth and allowed one run on four hits in his 42nd appearance. As a team, the Aces left nine runners on base and were just 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
The Aces continue the four-game set at Isotopes Park tomorrow with game two against Albuquerque scheduled for 5:35 p.m. Right hander Matt Koch (1-2, 10.06) is slated to start for the Aces.
Single-game tickets are still available for the four-remaining regular-season home games over Labor Day weekend.