Things did not go well for the Reno Aces Wednesday afternoon in front of a crowd of 6,986. In a game that lasted just 2 hours and 16 minutes, Reno struggled on offense and defense and it showed in the final 5-0 tally in a win for the Las Vegas 51s.
For Las Vegas, Buck Coats led off the game with a single to right field against Seth Etherton (4-5). Russ Adams followed with another in the same spot, which was bobbled on the catch. A poor throw then allowed Coats to score and Adams to reach second. Randy Ruiz followed and stepped up by depositing a two-run shot, just over the center-field fence for an early 3-0 lead for the Las Vegas 51s.
Things didn’t get much better offensively or defensively for Reno.
In the top of the third, Ruiz hit another shot, this time to left-center. It bounced off the Reno Big Horns sign for his second homer of the day.
Reno (31-36) made baserunning errors while trying to combat tough pitching from 51s hurler Brian Burres (4-5). Ed Rogers hit on top of the third base foul line. He easily made it to first but made an attempt at second and was thrown out, starting off the inning with a quick out, instead of a runner in scoring position.
“When things are not going in your direction, you try and force it,” Aces manager Brett Butler explained on Rogers’ putout.
Burres kept the Aces off balance and threw the shutout for Las Vegas.
“He stuck it to us,” Butler said. “He pitched like a big leaguer … You’ve got to tip your hat. The guy knows how to pitch.”
Chris Roberson restrained from making the same mistakes as Rogers, by reaching second and stopping. However, he was left stranded.
Aces fans got something to cheer about in the ninth inning. Butler earned his second ejection by home plate umpire Casey Moore, with Nunez up to bat. This was Reno’s fourth ejection.
With two outs, Brandon Watson gave Reno some life with a single, his fifth straight game with at least two hits. Ruben Gotay reached on an error to put two on for Alex Romero, who popped up to short.
“He was spotting up pretty good,” Watson said on Burres. “He was mixing up pitches. It’s one of those things you hope to grind out … All I can do is keep working hard. “
Burres pitched a complete game for the southern Nevada team, going the distance while only allowing four hits. He did not issue a walk and struck out five.
“Good pitching will beat good hitting any day of the week,” Butler said.
Etherton pitched six innings for Reno, allowing four runs and eight hits. He struck out five.
Reno won the series against Las Vegas, 2-1, in the first series ever between the two teams. They will play each other 13 more times this season.
Reno plays four straight games, in as many days, at Tacoma starting today at 7 p.m.