Four Reno Homers Knock off Las Vegas, 7-5
SUMMERLIN, Nev. - The Reno Aces took the Las Vegas Aviators deep four times to remain undefeated in series openers and snap the home squad's three-game winning streak in its 7-5 victory on Thursday night.
Blake Lalli's squad moved to 6-0 in the first game of the series while matching its season-high with four home runs set on May 7 against Salt Lake.
The Aces also reached the 20-win plateau in the 31 games, matching the 2011 team's record start.
Daulton Varsho ripped his third home run of the season with Reno to extend his hitting streak to eight.
Seth Beer added to his doubles lead and ripped his first home run in nearly a month with his 2-for-4 performance on Thursday. Five of his Triple-A-leading 14 doubles have come in the last seven games.
Josh VanMeter and Andrew Young became the fourth Aces' duo to slam back-to-back dingers this season, the first since Seth Beer and Domingo Leyba on May 11. VanMeter has recorded a home run in three of his last four games while Young has gone yard in three of his last five.
After a scoreless top of the first, Las Vegas cracked the scoreboard with two runs in the home half, tallying a run on a wild pitch that brought Luis Barrera in from third and another on an RBI single from Francisco Pena.
Following a blank second, the Aviators' Vimael Machin scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Austin Allen to take a 3-0 advantage after three frames.
Andrew Young extended his hitting streak to five with a leadoff single in the fourth. Varsho ripped a two-run shot in the ensuing at-bat to cut the Aviators' advantage to one, 3-2.
In the bottom half of the fourth, Corbin Martin worked into trouble, putting runners on first and second with no outs. Cameron Gann came on in relief and held the Aviators off the board. Following a fly-out that moved the Aviators' lead runner up one base from second, Varsho picked off Jacob Wilson with a throw down to Drew Ellis to eliminate the threat at third.
The team from Summerlin blanked the Aces in the top of the fifth before snapping Gann's 13.2-inning scoreless streak with a solo shot by Frank Schwindel to increase the home team's lead to two, 4-2.
The Aces knotted the game at four in the sixth frame following an Ellis double that extended his hitting streak to eight. In the next at-bat, Seth Beer drilled a long two-run home run to right-center to tie the contest, 4-4.
After the Biggest Little City's team blanked the squad from Summerlin in the home half of the sixth, Reno took its first lead of the game in the top of the seventh. Following a Renae Martinez leadoff walk, VanMeter belted his third homer in four games to take a 6-4 advantage. Five pitches later, Young ripped a solo shot to right-center to bump the Aces' edge to three, 7-4.
Both squads were held off the board in the eighth before Las Vegas threatened Reno's lead in the ninth. Pete Kozma hit a leadoff solo home run to slash the Aces' advantage to two, 7-5. After a strikeout to Machin, the Aviators put runners on the corners with one out and brought the winning run to the dish. Miguel Aguilar shut the door with the bases loaded and picked up his first save of the year.
Reno returns to action on Friday against Sacramento, with the first pitch slated for 7:05 p.m. PT. Tyler Gilbert is slated to make the start for the Aces. Friday's contest can be heard on renoaces.com or locally on KPLY 630 AM with Zack Bayrouty on the call.
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