Wily Mo Peña put the Aces on top early with a three-run homer in the first inning — his 15th of the season. Round Rock answered with five runs over the next three frames, but the Aces would regain the lead with a four-run fourth, helped by Tracy’s fifth home run of the season and the 283rd of his Minor League career.
Both teams traded runs in the sixth and eighth innings before Daniel Stange came on in the ninth to slam the door on an Aces victory.
Aces starter Zach Duke (1-0), pitching on a Major League rehabilitation assignment, earned the win after allowing five runs on seven hits over 5 1-3 innings of work. Duke walked one, struck out two and surrendered two home runs in an 89-pitch effort. After Rafael Rodriguez allowed a run in the sixth, Bryan Shaw held Round Rock to one run over two innings of work in his Triple-A debut. Stange worked a scoreless ninth to earn his first save.
Monday’s loss fell to Round Rock starter Derek Hankins (5-2), who allowed seven runs — six earned — on seven hits over five frames.
At the plate for Reno, Collin Cowgill finished with three hits, two runs scored and two RBIs. Cole Gillespie tripled in the first inning, his Minor League best 12th of the season.
The Aces and Express hit the second leg of this four-game series tonight at the Dell Diamond. Southpaw Zach Kroenke (4-0, 5.64 ERA) takes the ball for Reno, while the Express will counter with RHP Scott Feldman (1-0, 4.50 ERA). First pitch is set for 5:05 p.m. PT.
The first-place Aces return home on Friday, May 27 for a four-game set against the Sacramento River Cats.