SALT LAKE CITY, Utah—Chris Owings doubled and tripled to knock in three runs on Friday night, en route to a 5-4 Reno Aces victory over the Salt Lake Bees in the series opener at Spring Mobile Ballpark.
Reno overcame a 4-2 deficit by posting a two-run seventh and tacking on another in the ninth. The Bees had runners in scoring position with two outs in the ninth, but reliever Tony Sipp struck out Matt Long to end the game.
Earlier this week, it was announced that Owings was named the Pacific Coast League Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year, as well as shortstop for the All-PCL team. Friday marked his first multi-hit game since he was reinstated from Reno’s disabled list on Aug. 27.
Reno leadoff batter Tyler Bortnick continued his hot streak, going 2-for-4 at the plate, with an RBI and a pair of runs scored. He has gone 5-for-9 with four runs across his last three games, and 31-for-91 (.341) as Reno’s leadoff batter this season. With the win, the Aces advanced to 11-11 in games when Bortnick is in the top spot of the order.
Aces batters combined for 12 hits on the night, with Taylor Harbin and Alfredo Marte also recording multi-hit games. A Reno batter has not had a home run across the last seven games, tying the franchise record (also: May 15—22, 2009 and July 14—20, 2012).
Reno reliever Chase Anderson earned his fourth win of the season, throwing 2.2 perfect innings with two strikeouts. Sipp was credited with his first save for the Aces, marking just the third time Reno pitchers have recorded a save in back-to-back games this season.
D-backs No. 1 prospect Tyler Skaggs gave up four runs on nine hits in 5.1 innings, while striking out four and walking two. The lefty recorded his 600th professional strikeout, but did not factor into the decision, in what was his 100th professional start.
The series continues Saturday night at Spring Mobile Ballpark. RHP Zeke Spruill (5-5, 4.03 ERA) will get the nod for Reno, while the Bees will counter with RHP Tommy Hanson (0-2, 4.91 ERA). First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m. PT, and all of the action can be heard live on KPLY 630 AM.
Ticket packages are now available for the 2014 season at RenoAces.com, by calling (775) 334-7000 or by visiting the Aces Ballpark Ticket Office.