SACRAMENTO, Calif.—Brandon Allen gave Reno an early cushion with a two-run homer in the first inning, but the Sacramento River Cats would fire back with a six-run sixth inning to take an 8-4 victory over the Aces in the series opener Friday night at Raley Field.
Reno jumped ahead early, taking a 3-0 lead through the game’s first fiving innings. But the River Cats would come to life in the sixth inning, an effort that would propel them to the victory.
Padded with a 3-run lead, Aces starter Billy Buckner cruised through the first five innings, allowing just one hit and striking out seven batters. Buckner ran into trouble in the sixth, though. After hitting a batter and allowing a single, Buckner punched out two-straight batters before an RBI single by Michael Taylor put the River Cats on the board. Zach Kroenke (1-1) would spell Buckner, but a double, two singles and two walks later, Sacramento put up a six-spot in the frame, building a lead it would not relinquish and handing Kroenke his first loss of the season.
Sacramento starter Kyle Middleton (1-0) allowed three runs on seven hits over six innings of work to earn the victory. Middleton punched out four and walked three. Three River Cats relief pitchers combined to surrender just a run on two hits over the final three frames.
In addition to Allen’s early heroics, Doug Deeds and Mark Hallberg each cashed-in two hits on the night for Reno.
Corey Wimberly, Chris Carter and Steven Tolleson each chipped-in two RBIs for the River Cats Friday night.
The Aces and River Cats hit the second leg of this four-game set at Raley Field on Saturday night. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. PT. Sacramento sends RHP Clayton Mortensen (1-0, 7.50 ERA) to the hill. Reno’s starter is to be determined.
The Aces return home Saturday, April 24 for a four-game series against the Colorado Springs Sky Sox. Tickets for all Aces games start at just $7, and are available by calling the Reno Aces box office at (775) 334-7000 or by visiting www.RenoAces.com