LAS VEGAS, Nev.— For the first time in Reno Aces franchise history, the club has won six consecutive series. A come-from-behind 6-5 win over the Las Vegas 51s on Tuesday night did the trick.
The Aces’ recent run started on May 8, a day after a 4-3 loss at home to Tacoma dropped their record to 16-18. Since then, Reno has won series against Fresno, Salt Lake, Tacoma, Albuquerque, Fresno a second time, and now Las Vegas. They’ve won 19 of their last 25 games and stand at 35-24.
Starters Bo Schultz for Reno, and Rafael Montero for Las Vegas, cruised through the first two innings. A bunt single by Tony Campana sparked a two-out rally in the third. After the speedy centerfielder reached on the infield single, Roger Kieschnick walked. Alfredo Marte followed with a two-run triple to put Reno on top, 2-0.
The 51s answered with three of their own in the bottom half of the inning. Run-scoring hits by Omar Quintanilla and Daniel Muno knotted the game at 2-2. After Schultz struck out Allan Dykstra for the second out of the inning, third baseman Zach Lutz gave the 51s a 3-2 lead with a double down the left field line.
The Aces plated a run in the fourth to even the score again but the 51s had another answer. Montero delivered a two-out, RBI single to right, scoring Brandon Allen to regain a 4-3 lead.
It stayed that way until the seventh when pinch-hitter Aaron Cunningham started the inning with a single. After a sacrifice bunt from Campana and a groundout for the second out, Marte came through with a base knock to left that scored Cunningham to make it 4-4.
Mike Jacobs walked to put runners at first and second, then it was Andy Marte who gave the Aces a 5-4 lead with a liner to center.
Tyler Bortnick supplied an important insurance run in the eighth inning. Blake Lalli led off with a double, moved to third on a groundout, and scored on Bortnick’s run-producing groundout.
Aces’ closer Matt Stites came on with two on and two out in the eighth and promptly struck out pinch-hitter Taylor Teagarden to preserve the two-run lead.
The 51s started the bottom of the ninth with back-to-back singles. Daniel Muno followed with a failed sacrifice bunt attempt for the first out in the inning. Pinch-hitter Kai Gronauer brought Las Vegas to within one with a sacrifice fly, but then Stites retired Lutz on a fly out to lock down his ninth save in as many chances.
The Aces have an off day Wednesday before returning home for a four-game series against El Paso set to begin Thursday night. Right-hander Zeke Spruill (2-2, 6.10) gets the ball in game one against Chihuahuas’ right-hander Michael Nix (2-0, 2.08). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.