TACOMA, Wash.— Rusty Ryal smacked a three-run double in the eighth Wednesday night, turning a two-run deficit into a one-run lead and vaulting the Reno Aces to a 10-4 victory over the Tacoma Rainiers at Cheney Stadium.
One night after allowing an eighth-inning lead slip away, the Aces reversed the script Wednesday. Trailing 4-2 with the bases loaded in the eighth, Ryal rapped a two-bagger to left, clearing the bases and putting Reno ahead 5-4. The Aces would add five insurance runs in the ninth, while the Reno bullpen kept Tacoma off the scoreboard over the game’s final four frames.
Aces starter Cesar Valdez went five-plus innings, allowing four runs—three earned—on four hits. Valdez walked four and punched out six. After Valdez’s exit, the Reno bullpen took over for a dominant effort. Travis Blackley worked a scoreless 1.2 frames, before Jose Marte (1-1) retired the only batter he faced in the bottom of the seventh to earn his first-career Triple-A victory. Bobby Korecky didn’t allow a run over the eighth and ninth innings, picking up his seventh save.
Rainiers starter Doug Fister allowed two runs on eight hits over 5.2 innings, striking out six without issuing a free pass. The loss fell to Justin Thomas (0-2), who surrendered all three runs in the eighth.
At the plate for Reno Wednesday, Ryal led the way with two hits and four runs driven in. Alex Romero collected three hits, scored a run and drove in one. Ruben Gotay reached base four times, recording two hits and two walks.
The Aces and Rainiers hit the third leg of this four-game set on Thursday night at Cheney Stadium. Reno will send RHP Bryan Augenstein (1-0, 5.25 ERA) to the bump, while Tacoma will counter with LHP Chris Seddon (3-3, 5.59 ERA). First pitch is set for 7 p.m. and the action can be heard live on Fox Sports Radio 1450 AM.
The Aces return home on June 11 for a four-game set with Salt Lake and a three-game series with intrastate rival Las Vegas. June 11 will be a Coors Light Thursday night, with $2 Coors Lights until the fifth inning.