MEMPHIS, Tenn.— Andy Marte’s solo home run in the top of the seventh inning proved to be the difference Monday night in Memphis, as the Reno Aces beat the Memphis Redbirds, 3-1, in the series finale.
The win clinched Reno’s eighth series victory of the season.
Eric Brooks got the start for Reno in his Triple-A debut, and put in a stellar performance. Appearing on a pitch count, Brooks went four scoreless innings and allowed just one hit and one walk. Memphis’ lone hit off of Brooks came with two outs in the fourth inning.
The Aces got on the board in the third inning on a bases-loaded walk from Alfredo Marte. Blake Lalli led off with a single, and Tyler Bortnick reached on an error. After a strikeout and a fielder’s choice, Mike Freeman walked, and Marte drew a free pass on a 3-2 pitch.
The Redbirds tied it up with a run in the sixth inning on a Thomas Pham RBI-double to left field.
The tie wouldn’t last, however, as Marte gave Reno the lead back in the first at-bat of the seventh inning.
On the third pitch of the at-bat, Marte connected and sent the ball over the left-center field wall for his 12th home run of the season and second in as many games. Marte’s 12 homers this season ties him with Mike Jacobs for the team lead.
Alfredo Marte extended the lead to two runs in the eighth inning with an RBI-double just inside of the third base bag that scored Mike Freeman from first.
Jake Barrett made his Triple-A debut in relief in the eighth inning, and pitched into and out of trouble. After getting a strikeout and ground out to start the inning, Memphis got runners to first and second, but Barrett stranded them there after he got Jermaine Curtis to bounce out to third base.
Matt Stites worked a perfect ninth to seal the victory and earn his 12th save of the season.
Lalli went 2-for-4 with a double on the night, and was the only Reno player to record a multi-hit game. Alfredo Marte finished 1-for-3 with a walk and two RBI.
Reno returns home tomorrow to open up a four-game series with the Oklahoma City RedHawks. Left-hander Rudy Owens (2-4, 5.20) will get the start for Oklahoma City, and Reno hasn’t announced a starter yet. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.