Brandon Watson had four hits and Cesar Valdez earned the victory in his Triple-A debut Monday night, as the Reno Aces cruised past the Colorado Springs Sky Sox 10-2 in the series opener at Security Service Field.
Reno jumped on the Sky Sox early and never looked back, jumping back to the .500 mark on the young season. The Aces exploded for five runs in the first inning, then employed a consistent scoring attack to augment their lead.
The Reno pitching staff was outstanding Monday, surrendering just two runs to the Colorado Springs offense. Making his first start at the Triple-A level, Valdez (1-0) picked up the victory, allowing just a run on six hits over five innings of work. Valdez punched out three and didn’t issue a free pass.
Out of the Reno bullpen, Esmerling Vasquez, Abe Woody and Jon Coutlangus combined to allow just an unearned run over the game’s final four innings.
The loss fell on Sky Sox starter Brandon Hynick, who was roughed up in his 3.1 innings of service. Hynick allowed seven runs on seven hits, walking four and striking out two.
At the plate for Reno, Watson finished 4-for-5 with three runs scored and an RBI. Catcher John Hester continued to swing a hot bat as well, collecting three hits, a run and an RBI. Seven Aces starters had a hit on the day, with five producing a multi-hit effort.
The Aces jumped all over the Sky Sox in the early going, batting around and posting a five-spot in the first. Reno manufactured its first run, as Watson singled, advanced to second on a balk and to third on a groundout. After back-to-back walks loaded the bases, Watson would tag up from third and score on a bloop fly out to shallow right field. Then another base on balls—the third of the inning—loaded the bases for Trent Oeltjen, who promptly cleared the bags with a three-run triple. That put the score at 5-0 before the Sky Sox ever came to the plate.
The early margin would prove to be enough on Monday, though Reno added runs in the second, fourth, sixth and seventh innings in its most impressive offensive display of the season.
The series will roll on Tuesday night from Security Service Field. The Aces hand the ball off to left-hander Evan MacLane (0-0, No ERA), while Colorado Springs will counter with righty Alan Johnson (0-0, No ERA). First pitch is set for 5:05 p.m. PT and can be heard live on Fox Sports Radio 1450.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Reno 5 1 0 1 0 2 1 0 0 10 15 2
Colo. Springs 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 9 0
WP—Valdez (1-0); LP—Hynick (0-1)
ATT: 1,475 Time: 2:56