After already forcing extra innings in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Reno Aces tried to conjure a bit more late-inning magic on Sunday afternoon, but a dramatic 11th inning play-at-the-plate went in favor of the visiting team, and the Salt Lake Bees outlasted Reno 5-4 in front of 8,384 fans at Aces Ballpark.
Down a run in the 11th inning, the Aces rallied with two away in the frame. Chris Roberson singled to centerfield to start things off, putting the tying run on first with two outs. He would go on to steal second base, putting him in scoring position for Alex Romero, the three hitter in the Reno lineup. Romero promptly singled sharply to shallow right field, where it was corralled by the second baseman Luis Figueroa. Roberson rounded third and tried for home. Figueroa’s throw to the plate was in time, though, and Bees catcher Ryan Budde applied the tag to end the game.
To get to that point, the Aces had to pull-off a last-second comeback in the ninth. After Luke Carlin doubled sharply to right in the frame, Brandon Watson singled through the hole at second to chase home the tying run. Both teams went quiet in the 10th, but in the 11th, the Bees used a solo homer by Brad Coon to take the slim 5-4 advantage. Reno rallied before an energized Aces Ballpark crowd, but the effort fell just short.
RHP Tom Gordon, pitching on a Major League Rehabilitation Assignment, started the game for Reno. Gordon allowed two runs on three hits in one inning of work before handing the game over to LHP Evan MacLane, who was originally scheduled to make the start. MacLane battled for six innings, scattering just a run on six hits over six frames. The loss was hung on RHP Leo Rosales (1-1), who surrendered the go-ahead run in the 11th.
For Salt Lake, starter Brad Knox allowed three runs—two earned—over five innings of work. The last of four Salt Lake relievers—Brad Knox—picked up the victory after working 2.1 scoreless frames.
At the plate for Reno, four players collected multiple hits on the day. In addition to his two hits, Roberson drove in two runs and drew two bases on balls.
Coon paced the Salt Lake offense with three hits, two runs scored and an RBI.
The Aces and Bees will lock up in the series finale Monday night at Aces Ballpark. Reno sends RHP Tony Barnette (0-1, 4.15 ERA) to the bump. He’ll be countered by. RHP Anthony Ortega (1-1, 5.59). First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m.