Brandon Watson smashed his first home run of the season in the third, and Reno rallied to with a run in the ninth, but the effort fell just short, as the Portland Beavers avoided a series sweep with a 7-6 win over the Aces Sunday afternoon at Aces Ballpark.
Watson’s long ball, a solo shot, put Reno on the board in the third and tied the score at 1 apiece. Portland pushed across four runs in the fifth inning, but the Aces again recovered, tying the score with a run in the fifth and three more in the sixth. After the Beavers took a 7-5 lead into the ninth, Reno clawed back again. Trent Oeltjen doubled, moved to third on a wild pitch and came around to score on a Ruben Gotay groundout. That pushed the score to 7-6, but was as close as Reno would get.
Aces starter Travis Blackley allowed five runs over six innings of work, striking out a season-high eight batters. Blackley did not figure into the decision. Reliever Jose Marte (0-1) took the loss, allowing a run on one hit over 1.2 innings pitched.
The win went to Portland reliever Mike Ekstrom (2-1), who tossed 1.1 scoreless frames. Greg Burke (5) collected the save, despite allowing a run in the ninth.
For the Reno offense, Alex Romero led the way with two hits. Entering the game as a pinch-hitter in the sixth, Trent Oeltjen doubled twice in two trips to the plate.
Reno now hits the road for a four-game stint in Sacramento. In the opener, Reno will give the ball to RHP Cesar Valdez (1-1, 7.50 ERA). The River Cats will trot-out RHP Edgar Gonzalez (2-1, 4.50 ERA). First pitch on Monday is set for 7:05 p.m. PT from Raley Field. The action can be heard live on Fox Sports Radio 1450 AM.
The Aces return home on Friday, May 8 for a four-game series with the Fresno Grizzlies, Triple-A Affiliate of the San Francisco Giants. For tickets, stop by the Aces Ballpark Box Office, call (775) 334-7000 or visit www.RenoAces.com.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Portland 0 0 1 0 4 0 0 1 1 7 12 1
Reno 0 0 1 0 1 3 0 0 1 6 9 0
WP—Ekstrom (2-1); LP—Marte (0-1)
ATT: 7,109 Time: 3:11