Josh Whitesell celebrated his 27th birthday with two hits and an RBI, but three Colorado Springs runs in the fourth and fifth innings proved to be too much for Reno Tuesday night, as the Sky Sox topped the Aces 7-2 at Security Service Field.
The Sky Sox broke open the scoring with a run in the third to take an early lead, then pushed across six more runs over the next two frames to pull away for good. Reno fought back with a run in the seventh and another in the eighth, but the effort fell short, evening the series at 1-1.
Aces starter Evan MacLane (0-1) was pinned with the loss, surrendering four runs on seven hits through four innings of work. MacLane, making his first start of the season, walked two and struck out one in a 78-pitch effort. Out of the Reno bullpen, Jose Marte allowed three runs on two hits, walking three and striking out two. Josh Ellis worked two scoreless frames, allowing just a hit while striking out three.
The win went to Sky Sox starter Alan Johnson, who held the Aces scoreless through six innings. Johnson allowed just two hits and no walks, while striking out two.
Down 7-0 through six innings, the Aces offense came to life for the first time in the seventh inning. Alex Romero led-off the frame with a double to left and advanced to third on a passed ball. That set up Rusty Ryal, who singled to left, chasing home Romero for Reno’s first run of the game.
An inning later, Brandon Watson and Ruben Gotay each singled, putting two on with nobody away in the inning. After a Romero strikeout, Whitesell singled to left, scoring Watson to make the score 7-2. A ground ball double play ended the threat, though, and Reno would get no closer to the scoreboard.
Whitesell and Ryal led the Reno attack with two hits and an RBI apiece. Gotay extended his hitting streak to five games, and Watson hit safely in his fourth-straight contest.
The Aces and Sky Sox hit the third leg of the series Wednesday at Security Service Field. Reno sends right-hander Tony Barnette (0-1, 4.15 ERA) to hill, while Colorado Springs is set to give the ball to southpaw Franklin Morales (0-0, No ERA). First pitch is set for 10:05 a.m. PT and can be heard live on Fox Sports Radio 1450.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Reno 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 2 8 0
Colo. Springs 0 0 1 3 3 0 0 0 X 7 10 0
WP—Johnson (1-0); LP—MacLane (0-1)
ATT: 3,118 Time: 2:40