WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif.— David Winfree homered for the third-straight game, and Derek Eitel gave Reno a quality start, but the Aces came up short Friday night, dropping a 4-2 decision to the Sacramento River Cats at Raley Field.
Reno fell behind early and struggled to get on the scoreboard Friday. A pair of solo home runs accounted for all of the Aces’ offense—a solo shot by Winfree in the fourth that cut an early deficit to 3-1, and a solo homer in the ninth by Tony Abreu that again brought Reno to within two. Despite putting the tying run on base in the ninth, Reno would get no closer.
Derek Eitel (0-1), who was transferred to Reno just prior to game time from Advanced-A Visalia, took the hard-luck loss, allowing four runs—three earned—on six hits over six innings of work. Eitel struck out five and didn’t walk a batter. Out of the Aces bullpen, J.J. Putz—pitching on a Major League rehabilitation assignment—and Esmerling Vasquez each worked a scoreless frame.
The win went to Sacramento starter Travis Banwart (5-6), who scattered a run on two hits over six frames. Banwart struck out six and walked three.
At the dish for Reno, Abreu and Andy Tracy led a seven-hit Aces effort with two hits apiece. Winfree has now homered in three-straight games for the fifth time in his professional career.
Still with a commanding lead in the division and the Pacific Coast League’s best record, the Aces hook-up with the River Cats again on Saturday with a doubleheader at Raley Field. In the opener, LHP Wade Miley (3-0, 3.43 ERA) gets the nod for Reno, while the River Cats will counter with LHP Carlos Hernandez (5-3, 4.69 ERA). Starters for neither team have been determined for the nightcap. First pitch for game one is set for 5:05 p.m. PT