Reno posted three runs in the first inning and scored in six of the game’s first seven frames, appearing to be in position to cruise to a victory. The River Cats battled back, though, scoring twice in the seventh and tying the game in the eighth on a three-run home run off the bat of Kevin Kouzmanoff.
After both teams went down quietly in the ninth and tenth innings, the River Cats brought the game-winning run to third in the bottom of the 11th. Cardenas hit a flare to right that dropped just between Aces right fielder Cole Gillespie and second baseman Mark Hallberg that scored Josh Donaldson with the game-winner.
Aces starter Barry Enright took a no decision, allowing five runs on eight hits over 5.1 innings of work in his return to the Reno rotation. Jeff Bennett was pinned with a blown save after surrendering five earned runs over 2.1 frames, and Esmerling Vasquez (0-2) took the loss.
The win went to River Cats reliever Willie Eyre (4-5), who worked a scoreless 11th.
At the dish for Reno, Konrad Schmidt led the way with two hits and four RBIs— including a three-run home run. Lucas May and Juan Miranda also homered in a 12-hit Aces effort.
The Pacific North leading Aces and Pacific South leading River Cats finish up the series tonight at Raley Field. LHP Tom Layne (8-3, 6.12 ERA) toes the slab for Reno, while Sacramento will counter with RHP Graham Godfrey (8-2, 2.52 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. PT, and all the action can be heard in Northern Nevada on Fox Sports Radio 630 AM or online at RenoAces.com.