NEW ORLEANS — The Reno Aces dropped a tight series finale in New Orleans as the Zephyrs used a two-run homer by Mark Canha to top the Aces, 3-2, at Zephyr Field Tuesday night.
The loss resulted in the Aces’ first losing series on the road since July 11-13 in Sacramento, and put the Aces at 70-61 with 14 games remaining in the regular season.
Offense was hard to come by for the third consecutive night as Reno didn’t get their first hit until Bobby Wilson singled with two outs in the top of the fifth inning. The Aces didn’t collect their first hit in the first two games of the series until the eighth inning.
Leading 1-0 in the bottom of the fifth, Canha’s 18th blast of the year gave the Zephyrs some insurance at 3-0, and it figured important later in the game.
The Aces finally broke through against Zephyrs’ starter Brian Flynn in the seventh inning. Ronny Cedeno doubled to lead off the frame, and Bobby Wilson walked to put a pair of runners on. After Brett Jackson struck out, pinch-hitter Mike Jacobs delivered a run-scoring base hit to left-field to make it a 3-1 game.
Nick Ahmed followed with another RBI single, cutting the New Orleans lead to 3-2. Both teams went scoreless in the bottom of the eighth inning thanks to a web gem from reliever Joe Paterson.
The southpaw came on in relief with two runners on and nobody out in the bottom half of the eighth. Catcher Rob Brantly’s bunt attempt was caught by a diving Paterson who popped up and threw to second for a double play.
The momentum carried into the top of the ninth when Wilson and Jackson drew back-to-back walks to start the frame. The rally fizzled when left-hander Grant Dayton got Blake Lalli to bounce into a 4-6-3 double play, and right-hander Chaz Roe retired Ahmed on a fly-out to left-field to end the game.
The Aces return home Wednesday night when they begin the final homestand of the season against the Iowa Cubs. Right-hander Bradin Hagens (0-1, 3.60) starts for Reno against left-hander Eric Jokisch (9-9, 3.52) for Iowa. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.