Reno never looked good for the home crowd of 3,861 at Aces Ballpark Monday night, losing its series opener 8-2 to the Salt Lake Bees.
It didn’t take long for Reno to dig itself a hole. Mike Trout’s leadoff home run to start the game initiated a three-run rally for the Bees.
Hank Conger doubled on a line to left field with one out. An infield fielding error allowed Jorge Cantu to reach base.
Ryan Langerhans drove in Conger with his own double to left field, putting runners on second and third. Cantu made it 3-0 when he came home on a groundout by Luis Jimenez.
Jimenez plated Cantu again in the top of the third. The two-out single to center field increased the visitors’ lead to 4-0.
Salt Lake kept its streak of scoring in odd numbered innings intact when it added a run in the top of the fifth. Kole Calhoun led off the frame with a two-bagger to left field and came sprinting home when Conger followed and singled back up the middle for a 5-0 advantage.
Then the Bees decided to do some scoring in the even innings, posting a three spot in the sixth. Jimenez’s leadoff triple got things rolling. An Efren Navarro single plated him for a 6-0 score.
A hit batsman and a walk loaded up the bases for Salt Lake, and two more runs came home on a sacrifice fly by Trout and later thanks to a bad throw on an attempted double play.
Reno finally got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the seventh. Ryan Wheeler and Konrad Schmidt launched back-to-back solo shots to start the inning off reliever David Pauley, cutting the deficit to 8-2. But it was too little, too late.
Salt Lake starting pitcher Trevor Bell picked up the victory on the mound, throwing 5 2-3 scoreless innings. He allowed five hits, walked three and struck out four in a game where he struggled with his control at times, throwing 55 of 92 pitches for strikes.
A.J. Pollock and Randy Ruiz both had two hits for the Aces, accounting for half the team’s hits.
The Bees, who rapped out 12 hits on the night, were led by Jimenez’s three hits and two RBI. Trout drove in a pair of runs to go along with two hits, while Conger and Langerhans both added two hits apiece.
Reno right-hander Barry Enright (1-0, 3.18 ERA) will take on Salt Lake righty Garrett Richards (1-0, 2.57 ERA) today. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.