FRESNO, Calif.—Konrad Schmidt hit a two-run homer, and Jeff Bennett was dominant out of the bullpen, but a pair of big innings for Fresno vaulted the Grizzlies to a 7-4 victory over the Reno Aces in the series opener Saturday at Chukchansi Park.
Reno took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning, but the Grizzlies answered with four in the home half of the frame and they would never trail again. The Aces posted three runs in the fifth to tie the score, but again Fresno had an answer, scoring three of its own to take a three-run lead that would stand up.
Aces starter Tom Layne (8-5) took the loss, surrendering seven runs on eight hits over 5.1 innings of work. Layne walked six and didn’t strikeout a batter. Out of the Reno bullpen, Bennett worked 2.2 hitless frames.
The win went to Grizzlies starter Matt Yourkin (8-5), who scattered four runs on 10 hits over 6.1 innings. The Fresno bullpen held the Aces scoreless over the game’s final 2.2 innings.
At the plate for Reno, Cole Gillespie led the way with three hits, a run scored and an RBI. Evan Frey ran his hitting streak to nine games, while Schmidt’s home run in the fifth tied the game momentarily.
The Aces and Grizzlies will continue the series on Sunday evening at Chukchansi Park. LHP Zach Kroenke (7-2, 6.99 ERA) gets the nod for Reno, while the Grizzlies will counter with RHP Andrew Kown (9-7, 4.53 ERA). First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m. PT.