The 51s put up a three-spot in the first inning and led 6-0 before the Aces finally got on the board in the seventh. Reno scored and brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth, but the Aces would get no closer. Las Vegas now takes a 4-1 lead in the third chapter of the Silver State Diamond Challenge, and the Aces dropped just their fourth series opener of the 2011 season.
Aces starter Tom Layne (6-2) took the loss, surrendering six runs on seven hits over six innings of work. Out of the Reno bullpen, Jeff Bennett and Alberto Castillo each dealt a scoreless frame in their Aces debuts.
At the plate for Reno, Mark Hallberg doubled, scored and drove in two, while Brandon Allen drew three walks. Collin Cowgill, Wily Mo Peña and Tony Abreu chipped-in two hits apiece.
The win went to 51s starter Michael MacDonald (4-3), who tossed six scoreless innings with two walks and five strikeouts. Sean Henn came on in the ninth and converted his 3rd save of the season.
The Silver State Diamond Challenge continues Saturday night at Cashman Field. LHP Zach Kroenke (4-0, 5.85 ERA) takes the rock for the Aces. The 51s will counter with LHP Brett Cecil (8-2, 5.21 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. PT,and all the action can be heard live in Northern Nevada on Fox Sports Radio 630 AM or online at RenoAces.com.
First-place Reno returns to Aces Ballpark on Tuesday, June 21, for a four-game series against Las Vegas. Tickets can be purchased at the Aces Ballpark Box Office, online at www.RenoAces.com or by phone at (775) 334-7000. A variety of partial season ticket plans as well as prorated full-season tickets are available today.