TACOMA, Wash.—John Hester fueled a late Reno comeback effort with his second grand slam of the season, but the Reno Aces fell short, dropping an 8-5 decision to the Tacoma Rainiers Thursday night at Cheney Stadium.
Reno trailed 8-1 entering the eighth inning Thursday, but it was just then that the Aces offense would come to life. Reno used a hit by pitch, error and single to load the bases with one out for Hester. The Aces catcher promptly blasted a full-count offering deep over the wall in left, marking his second grand slam of the year and pulling Reno to within three at 8-5.
In the ninth, the Aces brought the tying run to the plate, but Reno was unable to light up the scoreboard, dropping the third game of the series.
Reno starter Bryan Augenstein (1-1) worked six innings in the losing effort, allowing five runs on eight hits. He walked one and struck out three. Reliever Jon Coutlangus surrendered three runs in 0.2 innings of work before Abe Woody came on to retire all four batters he faced.
Rainiers starter Chris Seddon (4-3) allowed just a run on six hits over seven innings of work to pick-up the victory. Seddon walked one and didn’t strike out a batter. Reliever Tyler Johnson surrendered Hester’s eighth-inning slam before Sparks high grad Randy Messenger retired the final two batters in the ninth to collect his 11th save.
At the plate for the Aces, Alex Romero, Rusty Ryal and Ed Rogers each chipped in two hits apiece. The 2-through-5 hitters in the Reno lineup each scored a run Thursday night.
The Aces and Rainiers will play the series finale of this four-game set on Friday night at Cheney Stadium. RHP Tony Barnette (3-5, 6.71 ERA) takes the ball for the Aces, while Tacoma will trot out LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith (0-0, No ERA), who will be on a Major League rehab assignment. 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.