Reno opened the bottom of the fourth with five straight singles and all five Aces came around to score in a five-run rally as the home team blew open a close game and cruised to a 13-5 victory over the Tacoma Rainiers.
Reno starting pitcher Charles Brewer had struggled in his day starts at Aces Ballpark, but Wednesday was different in front of a crowd of 4,414. Brewer worked 6 1-3 innings, allowing three runs on eight hits. He struck out four and walked three to record his second win of the season.
The Aces dodged a bullet in the top of the second. The Rainiers had runners on second and third with one out after a Carlos Peguero walk and a double by Vinnie Catricala. But a hard grounder to shortstop Jake Elmore allowed Elmore to go home with the long throw, nailing Peguero at the plate, despite playing back.
Reno pitcher Charles Brewer induced an inning-ending flyout to right field.
Then it was the Aces’ turn to threaten. Back-to-back doubles by designated hitter Mike Jacobs and second baseman Taylor Harbin put Reno on the scoreboard.
Konrad Schmidt continued his hot May by dumping a blooper into shallow center field. Harbin was off on contact and came around to score, making it a 2-0 game.
That two-run edge didn’t remain safe for long. In the top of the third, speedy Trayvon Robinson singled to left field and came all the way around to score on Luis Rodriguez’s RBI double to right, cutting the deficit in half, 2-1. But the Rainiers stranded two runners and couldn’t find the equalizer in the third.
They got the equalizer and more in the fourth frame though as Robinson was right in the middle of the action again.
After consecutive singles by Catricala and Mike Wilson, Robinson’s flyball to left field was misplayed and went for a two-run double with two outs, forging the visitors into a 3-2 advantage.
However, Robinson was part of an Aces rally in the bottom half of the inning.
Reno was up 5-3 following Cole Gillespie’s two-run single. Ryan Wheeler lifted a flyball to center field. Robinson tracked it down but he didn’t throw the ball back in immediately. Elmore tagged and scored from third and Gillespie did the same from second, increasing the lead to 7-3.
Reno posted a three-spot in the fifth to take a 10-3 edge. Jacobs opened the inning with a solo shot over the right-field wall. Schmidt chased Tacoma starting pitcher Anthony Vasquez from the game with a double just inside the line in left. Vasquez went 4 1-3 innings, allowing nine runs on 13 hits.
Sean Henn came on in relief and walked the first batter he faced on four pitches. He then gave up the third hit of the game for Elmore, a rocket shot past the shortstop that allowed Schmidt to rumble home. Gillespie followed with a run-scoring single to left for the 10-3 score.
Randy Ruiz launched a three-run home run in the eighth, giving Reno a double-digit cushion, 13-3. It was Ruiz’s 13th long ball of the year.
The Rainiers added a pair of unearned runs in the ninth, accounting for the final eight-run margin. Casper Wells had an RBI double and Peguero singled in the final run.
Reno (29-25) out-hit Tacoma (23-30) 19-10 on the day. Elmore finished with four hits. Schmidt and Harbin each had three, while Jacobs added a couple.
The four-game set continues today with Game 3 at 7:05 p.m. The Aces have already clinched at least a split in the series, having won their 12th in a row over Tacoma.