RENO, Nev. — One night after the Aces gained momentum in the race for the Pacific Northern Division crown, they gave it back to Sacramento as the River Cats topped the Aces, 4-2, Friday night at Aces Ballpark.
With the win, Sacramento leads Reno by two games with three left in the series, and 24 left in the season.
Two walks issued by Lucas Harrell came back to bite the right-hander in the second inning. A double down the left-field line scored Daric Barton for the game’s first run, and an RBI groundout gave Sacramento a 2-0 lead.
In the third, Barton launched his sixth home run of the year, a solo shot to make it a 3-0 game.
The River Cats extended the lead to 4-0 with some help from the Aces in the top of the fifth. Nick Buss launched a high drive to right-center that A.J. Pollock cut off before hitting the warning track. Pollock’s throw came in to Harrell who fired wide of the third base bag, allowing Buss to trot home on a triple and an error.
A two-out base hit by Aaron Cunningham got the Aces on the board in the bottom of the sixth inning. It chased starter Drew Pomeranz who limited Reno to just four hits on the night. The southpaw racked up seven strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings and improved to 2-0.
Patrick Schuster worked a scoreless seventh, and Will Harris followed suit with a 1-2-3 top of the eighth.
Mike Jacobs cut the River Cats’ lead to 4-2 in the eighth with a run-scoring double down the right-field line. With two outs in the inning, Zach Borenstein, Cunningham and Bobby Wilson drew three consecutive walks to load the bases. The rally came to a halt when Evan Scribner struck out Argenis Diaz to end the inning.
After Jess Todd and Joe Paterson combined to work a scoreless top of the ninth, Sacramento closer Jeremy McBryde retired the Aces in order to notch his 12th save of the year.
Game three of the series is set for Saturday night. Right-hander Bradin Hagens starts for the Aces in his Triple-A debut against Sacramento right-hander Matt Buschmann (6-6, 5.00). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.