James Paxton’s six-strikeout performance wasn’t enough as the Reno Aces defeated the Tacoma Rainiers on Saturday night, 4-1.
Paxton ranks sixth in the Pacific Coast League with 97 strikeouts and had turned in 10 consecutive scoreless innings since his July 3 start.
That scoreless streak came to a screeching halt in the fourth inning, when Reno’s Brad Snyder hit a double and then scored on a single by Tyler Bortnick.
The Aces tacked on another run in the fourth with a home run by Juan Rivera. Mike Jacobs drove in his 34th run of the season when he singled home former Rainiers infielder Josh Wilson in the sixth.
After seven innings, Paxton was replaced by right-handed reliever Carter Capps.
In the top of the ninth inning, Alfredo Marte drove in a run on a sacrifice fly to complete the scoring for the Aces.
Paxton ended the night with seven hits and three earned runs. His record is now 6-7 on the season with a 4.58 earned-run average.
Capps limited the Aces to just two hits and one run in his two innings of work. He was optioned from the Seattle Mariners to Tacoma on Thursday.
“The kind of pitching effort that we got tonight is the type I’d take any night,” Tacoma manager John Stearns said. “We should win with that kind of performance. Capps came in and pitched solid.”
The Rainiers, however, had their fair share of hits with six.
Scott Savastano extended his hitting streak to five games after belting a home run in the second inning to give the Rainiers their only run of the night.
Savastano has been batting .354 during the streak and has had two doubles and an RBI in addition to the home run.
“He [Savastano] swings the bat well and hits with power. It was a nice home run for him,” Stearns said. “It’s always good to see him come in and play well because he doesn’t get to play as much as I’d like to see him play.”
The Rainiers had a chance to add to the score when Abraham Almonte stepped up to the plate with Jason Jaramillo at third in the second inning, but Almonte struck out to end the inning.
“We’re not swinging the bat well; we’re not scoring runs,” Stearns said. “We have got to hit better than this if we want to be competitive in the second half of the season.”
The Rainiers added middle infielder Lonnie Kauppila and right-handed pitcher Aaron Brooks from the short-season Everett AquaSox on Saturday.
The Rainiers send right-hander Blake Beavan (3-2, 4.91 ERA) to the mound against Aces right-hander Garrett Mock (6-4, 6.10) at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at Cheney Stadium. The game will be broadcast on 850-AM.