ALBUQUERQUE, NM. (KOLO) The Reno Aces lost by a score of three to zero on Thursday night, but clinch Pacific Northern Division Championship with a Fresno Grizzlies loss.
The Aces are playoff bound for the fourth time in franchise history. Reno has dominated the Pacific Coast League in 2017, sitting in first or second place entering all but seven games. The Biggest Little City will play host to the winner of the Pacific Southern Division for a best-of-five series beginning on September 6 at Greater Nevada Field.
Taylor Clarke got the start for Greg Gross and the Aces in the series finale at Isotopes Park. The right-hander tossed six innings and struck out eight, his Triple-A best. Offensively, Jack Reinheimer was the lone Reno player to record a multi-hit game, finishing 2-for-3.
Clarke cruised through the ball game, yielding just three hits on the night. In the bottom of the fourth inning, Isotopes outfielder launched a solo home run (25) to break the 0-0 tie. Two batters later, Ryan Howard hit career home run number 498 to extend the Albuquerque lead, 2-0. Howard joined the Albuquerque squad after six years with the Philadelphia Phillies. The former three-time MLB All-Star joined the Isotopes as a free agent on August 12.
The Isotopes bats came alive again in the bottom of the 7th inning with catcher Anthony Bemboom hitting a solo home run off reliever Erik Davis. As a team, the Aces left eight runners on base and finished 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.
Reno will return to Greater Nevada Field tomorrow night and take on the Isotopes in the final four-game homestand of the season. Single-game tickets are still available for the four-remaining regular-season home games. Playoff tickets are also available for reservation by visiting the ticket office or renoaces.com. Home playoff games will be Wednesday, September 6th, and Thursday, September 7th at Greater Nevada Field, both scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Follow the club all season long on Twitter (@Aces) or like the team on Facebook.