John Hester hit a first-inning grand slam for Reno Monday night, setting the tone for an offensive night of baseball that ended with the Aces taking a 10-9 decision over the Salt Lake Bees in the series finale at Aces Ballpark.
Hester’s blast to left in the first gave the Aces four quick runs, but they’d need even more to put away a potent Salt Lake offense on Monday. The Aces scored once more in that first inning, added a run in the third, three more in the fourth and another in the eighth to muster a one-run victory.
In the eighth, Reno saw a slim two-run lead dissipate, as Salt Lake rallied to tie the score. In the home half of the inning, though, Brandon Watson cracked a two-out triple to right-center, knocking in Agustin Murillo for the eventual game winner.
The win gives Reno a series split with the Bees, 2-2.
The Aces used four pitchers Monday, with the win going to the final arm of the day, Josh Ellis (2-1). The right-hander put out a fire in the eighth, then dealt a scoreless ninth to secure the win. He becomes the first Ace to pick-up multiple victories on the season.
Reno starter Tony Barnette worked 3.1 innings, allowing five runs on five hits. He walked four and punched out two. Out of the bullpen, Jon Coutlangus allowed two runs on six hits over 2.1 innings, and Esmerling Vasquez surrendered two runs—one earned—on three hits in two innings before Ellis came on to quell the Salt Lake bats.
Salt Lake starter Anthony Ortega, who held Reno to just a run over five innings on April 10, allowed nine runs on 12 hits in four innings of work. Ortega did not figure into the decision, though, as former Diamondbacks farmhand Jailen Peguero (0-1) was given the loss after allowing the go-ahead run in the eighth.
Reno saw eight of its nine starters pick-up at least one hit. Six Aces had a multi-hit game, and the 2-through-5 hitters in the lineup combined to go 8-for-14 with seven runs driven in.
Hester finished 2-for-4 with four RBI and a run scored, while Murillo went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and one driven in.
Reno now welcomes the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, Triple-A Affiliate of the Colorado Rockies, into town for four. In the opener, Reno’s Tom Gordon takes the ball to start in his second rehab appearance of the week. The Sky Sox will counter with RHP Josh Fogg (0-0, 7.56 ERA). First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m. at Aces Ballpark.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Salt Lake 1 0 2 3 1 0 0 2 0 9 15 0
Reno 5 0 1 3 0 0 0 1 X 10 15 0
WP—Ellis (2-1); LP—Peguero (0-1)
ATT: 4,402 Time: 3:28
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