The 7,437 fans in attendance at Aces Ballpark Sunday witnessed strong starting pitching and timely hitting as the Aces took the drama out of the game early on, cruising to a 9-4 triumph to secure a series victory.
Reno ace right-hander Barry Enright continued to make his case for a promotion up to the big leagues and shut down Tacoma. The offense provided plenty of help as well.
Reno got off to a quick lead by posting three spots in the first and second innings.
The Aces had the bases loaded in the bottom of the first with one out. Reno pushed across its first run on David Winfree’s sacrifice fly to center field, and then Rusty Ryal made it 3-0 with his two-run double to left.
In the second, back-to-back singles by Ryan Budde and Taylor Harbin put runners on the corners for the home team. Jake Elmore laced a line drive single to right field, plating Budde. Josh Bell followed with a double to left field, clearing Harbin and Elmore off the bases for a 6-0 Aces lead after two innings.
Sean Henn relieved Tacoma starting pitcher Anthony Vasquez to start the sixth inning, but he didn’t have much better luck. Henn gave up consecutive infield singles to Harbin and Adam Eaton.
Both came home on Elmore’s double to right field, increasing Reno’s edge to 8-0.
Enright kept his shutout intact through six innings, but the Rainiers finally got to him in the top of the seventh.
Luis Antonio Jimenez and Johan Limonta traded places on the base paths as they both doubled for Tacoma. It also ended Enright’s day on the mound.
Bryan Woodall came on in relief for the Aces and allowed a two-out triple to Luis Rodriguez that cut the deficit to 8-2. Enright went 6 1-3 innings, allowing two runs on four hits, while walking five and striking out four for the victory. He is now 4-1 with a 2.13 ERA on the year.
Reno got one of those runs back in the bottom half of the seventh. Cole Gillespie led off the inning with a triple and later scored on an error with two outs.
The Rainiers picked up two more runs in the top of the eighth to account for the final five-run margin.
Three straight singles loaded the bases for Tacoma. An RBI groundout by Vinnie Catricala brought home Carlos Triunfel and Limonta knocked in Chih-Hsien Chiang with a base hit.
Elmore was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate to lead the Aces’ 14-hit attack. He drove in three runs and scored twice. Eaton, Ryal, Bell and Harbin each added two hits.
The Rainiers had nine hits in the loss. Chiang, Jimenez and Limonta all had two hits apiece.
Reno (14-17) will conclude its four-game series with Tacoma (11-19) today at 1:05 p.m. Trying for their second sweep of the season, the Aces will turn to RHP Joe Martinez (0-2, 4.24 ERA), while Tacoma will counter with right-handed newcomer Erasmo Ramirez (0-0, No ERA).