LAS VEGAS, Nev.—Travis Blackley picked up his first win since June 27, and Chris Young had four hits—including a two-run homer—as Reno knocked off Las Vegas 6-4 Wednesday night at Cashman Field, evening the Silver State Diamond Challenge at six games apiece.
Young was the story offensively for Reno, as he went 4-for-5 with a double and a home run, his second since joining the Aces. His eighth-inning homer extended Reno’s lead to 6-3 after Eric Byrnes broke a 3-3 tie with an RBI-double to left earlier in the frame. That was all the insurance the Aces bullpen would need, as Blackley and Doug Slaten held the 51s in check over the final three innings.
Reno starter Billy Buckner continued his fine pitching, tossing six innings and allowing only three runs. Blackley (3-7) pitched the seventh and eighth innings to earn the win before being relieved by Doug Slaten (8), who earned his eighth save by getting a strikeout and a game-ending, 6-4-3 double play.
Bill Murphy (0-6) was tagged with the loss for Las Vegas after allowing the eventual game-winning runs in the eighth. He relieved 51s starter Fabio Castro, who got a no-decision despite throwing 5.2 innings of three-run ball.
With the win, Reno evens the season series with Las Vegas at six games apiece. The win also guarantees that the vaunted Silver State Diamond Challenge will go down to the wire in its inaugural season, as the final four games between the intrastate rivals will decide the SSDC championship.
Thursday, the same two teams meet at Cashman Field in Las Vegas, as the Aces send RHP Tony Barnette (12-7, 6.03 ERA) to the mound to square off against 51s RHP Dirk Hayhurst (4-6, 4.19 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. PT and the action can be heard live on Fox Sports Radio 1450 AM.
The Aces’ final homestand begins August 31 at Aces Ballpark. For tickets, stop by the Aces Ballpark Box Office, call (775) 334-7000 or visit www.RenoAces.com.