RENO, Nev.—Ryan Wheeler pushed his Minor League-best RBI total to 75 with three runs driven in on Thursday, but a five-run Fresno sixth-inning was enough to push the Grizzlies to an 11-8 victory over Reno at Aces Ballpark.
The game was knotted at 4-4 through five innings, but the Grizzlies pushed across five runs in the sixth—including a Charlie Culberson grand slam—that put Fresno in front for good. Reno answered with three runs in the home half of the sixth inning to cut the deficit to two, but it would get no closer.
Aces starter Barry Enright (6-5) took the loss, surrendering seven runs on eight hits over 5.1 innings of work. Joe Paterson allowed three inherited runners and two of his own to score in the sixth before Bryan Henry worked two scoreless frames in his Triple-A debut. Jonathan Albaladejo allowed two runs in the ninth, making his first appearance since being optioned to Triple-A by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Fresno starter Jason Stevenson worked 4.2 innings, scattering four runs on five hits. Mitch Lively (4-3) finished the fifth inning, retiring the only batter he faced to earn the victory. The Grizzlies used seven different pitchers on the evening.
At the plate for Reno, Wheeler doubled home a run in the first, then hit a two-run home run in the fifth to become the first Minor League batter this season to reach the 75-RBI plateau. Taylor Harbin registered a three-hit night for the Aces, and Rusty Ryal came off the bench to drive in three runs.
The rubber game of the series is set for Friday night at Aces Ballpark. LHP Zach Kroenke (4-1, 4.76 ERA) gets the nod for Reno, while RHP Andrew Kown (4-1, 3.42 ERA) counters for the Grizzlies. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. PT.