RENO — After slumbering for the first two games of the series, the Reno Aces bats woke up Wednesday night.
And apparently they were angry.
Reno scored in each of the first seven innings on the way to a 15-11 victory over the Rainiers, ending Tacoma’s three-game win streak.
Reno’s leadoff batter reached base in all eight inning the Aces batted in – four times via hit, three times by walk, and once due to an error. Tacoma pitchers rarely worked without runners on base.
Reno banged out 18 hits and drew seven walks. Reno launched three home runs, as Andy Marte, Nick Evans, and Mike Jacobs each went deep.
Evans three-run homer was the big blow for the Aces, giving Reno a 9-8 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Tacoma was matching Reno in the early innings, with leadoff man Xavier Avery collecting hits and scoring runs seemingly at will. Avery went 5-for-6 with three runs scored, and he also stole two bases to raise his league-leading total to 13.
Rainiers spot-starter Zach Miner had a tough outing. The veteran was touched for 11 hits and nine earned runs over the first three innings. Evans knocked him out with the three-run blast in the fourth.
Nick Hill followed Miner and battled control problems, walking three batters and allowing four runs in 1 2/3 innings. Hill was charged with the loss, allowing the go-ahead run when Jacobs grounded out to score Did Gregorius in the bottom of the fifth to make it 12-11.
Reno secured the win with a superior bullpen performance. Derek Eitel tossed to scoreless frames to earn the victory, and Eury De La Rosa worked three shutout innings to earn the save.
Tacoma (17-14) still has a chance to win a series in Reno for the first time in franchise history by taking the final game Friday night.
Miner made the spot start to fill the rotation slot of Erasmo Ramirez, who started the second game of Seattle’s doubleheader in Oakland on Wednesday. Ramirez rejoined the Rainiers on Thursday and will slot back into the Tacoma starting rotation.
The series in Reno concludes with a 6:35 game on Friday night. Tacoma starts James Gillheeney (1-2, 7.59) against Reno veteran Randy Wolf (4-1, 4.18).
Mike Curto is the radio broadcaster for the Tacoma Rainiers.