FRESNO, Calif.— With a 5-4 victory over the Fresno Grizzlies Thursday at Chukchansi Park, the Reno Aces have clinched the 2012 Pacific North Division crown and advanced to the Pacific Coast League Playoffs for the second-straight season.
The Aces’ victory—coupled with a loss by second-place Colorado Springs on Thursday—punched Reno’s ticket to the 2012 postseason, setting-up a rematch of the 2011 Pacific Conference Championship Series against the intrastate rival Sacramento River Cats.
Games 1 and 2 will be played at Raley Field in Sacramento on Sept. 5 and Sept. 6. After that, Games 3, 4 (if necessary) and 5 (if necessary) move to Aces Ballpark on Sept. 7—9. Playoff tickets are available now by visiting the Aces Ballpark Ticket Office or by calling (775) 334-7000. Details can be found at RenoAces.com.
Reno scored the game’s first run Thursday, but trailed 3-2 through five frames. In the sixth, though, Brent Clevlen roped a two-out, two-run double to left field that gave the Aces a 4-3 lead. Tyler Kuhn added a solo homer in the eighth to pad the lead, and a dominant effort by the Reno relief corps preserved the playoff-clinching victory.
Aces starter Daniel Cabrera (1-1) earned the victory, scattering three runs on seven hits over 5.0 innings of work. After his exit, Sam Demel retired all six batters he faced, and Jensen Lewis worked a scoreless eighth. Jonathan Albaladejo slammed the door in the ninth for his franchise-record 25th save.
The loss fell to Andrew Kown (6-8), who surrendered four runs on six hits over 7.0 innings of work.
Reno now heads back to Aces Ballpark to begin the final regular season homestand of the season, a four-game set against the Tucson Padres. In Friday’s opener, RHP Charles Brewer (10-7, 6.25 ERA) gets the nod for the Aces, while the Padres will counter with RHP Andrew Cashner (0-0, 0.00). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. PT