RENO, Nev.— Billy Buckner tossed the first complete game shutout in Aces history Friday night, striking out a career-high 12 batters en route to an 8-0 win over the Tacoma Rainiers in front of 8,013 fans at Aces Ballpark.
Buckner was locked in a pitchers’ duel with Tacoma starter Andrew Baldwin until the seventh inning. With the game knotted in a scoreless tie, Abraham Nunez gave Buckner all the offense Reno would need, blasting a two-run homer into the Aces bullpen in right field. Reno added six more in the eighth inning, highlighted by Luke Carlin’s bases clearing, 3-run double that blew the game open.
But the night belonged to Buckner (6-3), who was magical throughout the evening. Throwing all four of his pitches for strikes, the right-hander struck out 12 Rainiers, while walking three and scattering four hits. It was the first complete game and first complete-game shutout in Aces history.
Baldwin matched Buckner through 5.2 innings before being lifted with two outs in the sixth. Robert Manuel (0-1) took the loss for the Rainiers after giving up the eventual game-winning home run to Nunez.
In addition to Nunez’s heroics, Rusty Ryal and Carlin each chipped in with multi-hit games. Brandon Allen extended his franchise-best hitting streak to 15 games with a 2-for-5 night at the plate.
Friday’s win gave Reno its 13th win against the Rainiers, ending the season series with a 13-3 mark against Tacoma. It is the most wins by Reno against any one opponent this year.
Saturday, the Aces begin a four-game set with Colorado Springs, sending RHP Tony Barnette (8-7, 6.71 ERA) to the mound against Colorado Springs RHP Esmil Rogers (1-1, 5.64 ERA).
For tickets, stop by the Aces Ballpark Box Office, call (775) 334-7000 or visit www.RenoAces.com.