Aces Stay Hot, Shut Out Division Champion River Cats

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RENO, Nev.— Hector Ambriz and Travis Blackley combined to shutout the division champion Sacramento River Cats 6-0 in front of 6,101 fans Thursday night at Aces Ballpark.

A five-run fourth inning was all the offense Reno would need to back-up a dominant performance by the Aces pitching staff. In the fourth, Josh Whitesell started the scoring with a two-run double, plating Taylor Harbin and Eric Byrnes. Ed Rogers added to the lead by driving a two-run homer down the left-field line that curved just inside the foul pole. A Chris Roberson RBI-single capped the rally for the Aces, and Ambriz and Blackley made it stand up.

Ambriz (9-9) was solid through seven innings, scattering five hits and striking out five to earn the victory. Blackley came on in the eighth and struck out four in two innings of work to preserve the victory.

Chris Schroder got a spot-start for Sacramento after scheduled starter Clayton Mortensen was a late scratch. Schroder tossed three scoreless innings before Scott Patterson relieved him in the fourth. Patterson (3-4) took the loss for the ‘Cats, allowing one earned run before being ejected for arguing the Rogers home run call.

Trent Oeltjen had a three-hit night for Reno, leading the Aces’ nine-hit attack. Agustin Murillo went 2-for-2 with two runs scored, and Rogers and Whitesell contributed two RBIs apiece.

With the win, the Aces finish 10-8 against the River Cats, the best record of any PCL team against Sacramento. Reno continues its final homestand of the season Friday night against the Fresno Grizzlies, Triple-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants. Reno sends RHP Cesar Valdez (6-6, 4.95 ERA) to the mound against Fresno RHP Ramon Ortiz (5-5, 3.11 ERA).

Friday night’s game will feature Mystery Ball grab bags, with over 200 balls signed by Aces and Diamondbacks players, with proceeds going to charity. It is also the final Fireworks Friday of 2009, presented by KOLO 8. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m. PT.

For tickets, stop by the Aces Ballpark Box Office, call (775) 334-7000 or visit

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E

Sacramento 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 2

Reno 0 0 0 5 0 0 1 0 X 6 9 1

WP— Ambriz (9-9); LP—Patterson (3-4)

ATT: 6,101 Time: 2:34