It appeared that Tacoma closer Blake Parker had bottled up Reno’s offensive momentum in the top of the ninth. But with two outs, two strikes on the count and the score tied, Aces shortstop Jack Reinheimer blasted a three-run, game-sealing home run over the left field fence.
The late homer gave the Reno a 7-4 victory over the Rainiers.
“I was trying to go away with a fastball and just left it out over with two strikes,” Parker said. “Obviously I didn’t want to throw it at the heart of the plate, but looking back, I don’t think fastball was the wrong pitch, I just (needed) a little bit better location.”
The Aces’ Silvino Bracho earned the save upon closing out the ninth. The home run from Reinheimer, a Mariners fifth-round draft pick from 2013, was his first since opening night.
Prior to the homer, Reno catcher Tuffy Gosewich hit a line drive single with two outs that bounced out of Tyler Smith’s outstretched glove.
“I think we could make the play,” Rainiers manager Pat Listach said. “He catches that ball, I think we win that game.”
Though the game was tightly contested, the Rainiers played from behind throughout.
Dario Pizzano put Tacoma up 1-0 in the bottom of the third with a solo home run.
The Aces evened it up in the fourth when Mitch Haniger grounded a single to left field and Reinheimer scored from second. Haniger then scored from second on Ed Lucas’ double to right field on the next play to put the Aces up 2-1.
The teams traded runs until Chris Taylor hit an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh, tying the game at 4 apiece and setting up the ninth inning bomb.
Right-hander Justin DeFratus was traded to the Texas Rangers as the player-to-be-named in the May 29 trade that brought Patrick Kivlehan back to Tacoma. … Luis Sardinas struggled at the plate, going 0 for 4 in his first game back after being optioned down from Seattle Friday. … Third baseman Zach Shank was sent down to Double-A Jackson Saturday to clear roster space for Sardinas. Shank spent 32 games with the Generals to begin the season and was called up May 22 and batted .381 with three home runs in 14 appearances with the Rainiers. … Left-handed pitcher Jake Brentz was called up from extended spring training Saturday and has been added to the roster.
The Rainiers will start right-handed Reno native Joe Wieland (4-3, 8.37) and limit him to around 60 pitches, Listach said. Newly re-acquired righty Jarrett Grube is now slated to make his first appearance for the Rainiers since July 8, 2012, when he spent 16 games in Triple-A. Grube also had stints in Tacoma in 2010 and 2011. Braden Shipley (4-3, 3.23) is listed as the Aces’ starter.