One inning and one error were all the Reno Aces needed to pull away from the Tacoma Rainiers for a 6-3 victory in front of 6,857 at Cheney Stadium on a cloudy, rainy Saturday night.
In the top of the sixth inning, with Tacoma leading 3-2, Rainiers starter Adrian Sampson issued a walk and then a bunt single to put runners on first and second. Rainiers shortstop Chris Taylor then committed an error by booting a potential double-play ball and the bases were loaded with no outs.
Aces left fielder Peter O’Brien gave Reno a 5-3 lead by hitting a laser shot to center field for a triple. All three runners came around to score. O’Brien then scored on a sacrifice fly to extend the Aces’ lead to 6-3.
“The whole inning had gotten started before the error, and we should have had an out by then,” Tacoma manager Pat Listach said. “So you can’t blame Chris for those runs.”
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Before the Aces’ four-run outburst, it looked as if Sampson, a newly acquired Skyline alum, had settled down after allowing a run in each of the first two innings.
Sampson was pulled after six innings, yielding eight hits and four earned runs. He struck out four and walked one on 88 pitches.
“I thought he threw the ball great,” Listach said. “The strike zone was tight, but he kept us in the game for the most part.”
The Rainiers scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning to go up 3-1.
Another newly acquired Rainier, Ramon Flores, smacked a double to center field and scored on designated hitter Stefen Romero’s single. Romero scored later in the inning, as did Taylor. John Hicks and Patrick Kivlehan got the other RBIs.
That was all the offense Tacoma could muster as Aces starter Jhoulys Chacin figured out the Rainiers.
Chacin allowed one hit after the first inning, a double by third baseman Carlos Rivero. He went 72/3 innings, struck out five and allowed six hits and the three earned runs. He gave up six walks while throwing 128 pitches.
“He mixed up his pitches well and kept us off balance all game,” Listach said. “He threw the right pitches at the right time.”
Taylor reached base for the 14th consecutive game after going 1 for 2 with three walks. … In nine games with the Rainiers, Flores has gone 15 for 33 and drawn eight walks. … Reliever Tony Zych hasn’t allowed an earned run since June 21 while with the Rainiers and the Double-A Jackson Generals.
The Rainers will finish their five-game series against the Aces on Sunday. First pitch is at 1:35 p.m. The Rainiers will start right-hander Chien-Ming Wang (1-3 5.59 ERA) against Aces right-hander Gabriel Arias (5-3 5.58 ERA).