Reno held a 3-1 lead through four-and-a-half frames on Friday, but the Padres answered with three runs in the fifth and two more in the sixth to take a lead that would stand up. The Aces carved a two-run deficit down to one and brought the tying run to third base in the ninth, but Reno was unable to get him to the plate.
The loss for first-place Reno — coupled with an extra-inning victory for Tacoma in Colorado Springs — cuts the Aces’ division lead to eight with 10 games remaining on the regular season slate. Reno’s magic number holds steady at three.
Aces starter Zach Kroenke cruised through the game’s first four innings before being burned for five runs over the next two innings. Kroenke (9-3) took the loss, surrendering six runs on 11 hits with a walk and four strikeouts over six innings of work. Out of the Aces bullpen, Brian Stokes allowed one inherited runner to score over two innings, and Kam Mickolio worked a scoreless eighth.
The win went to Tucson starter Samuel Deduno (4-4), who scattered four runs on nine hits with three walks and five strikeouts over six frames. Greg Burke worked two scoreless innings, and Pat Neshek slammed the door in the ninth for his third save.
At the plate for Reno, Gillespie led a 14-hit Aces attack with a pair of singles and two RBIs. Angel Berroa continued his torrid stretch with three hits, a run scored and an RBI.
The Aces and Padres hit the fifth leg of this six-game series tonight at Kino Stadium. RHP Gaby Hernandez (4-6, 6.29 ERA) takes the ball for Reno, while Tucson will counter with RHP Jon Leicester (5-8, 6.77 ERA). First pitch is set for 7 p.m. PT, and all the action can be heard on Fox Sports Radio 630 AM or online at RenoAces.com.
Reno returns home for the final regular season homestand of the year beginning Monday at 7:05 p.m.