Considering that much of the team that got Reno into the playoffs is now with the Diamondbacks it wouldn't be a surprise to see the Aces falter in the playoffs. But they're not playing like they're missing anyone as the offense cranked it up behind Charles Brewer to deliver an 11-7 Game 3 victory over Sacramento to take a 2-1 series lead. Josh Bell was the big bopper with 4 RBI and Tyler Kuhn added 4 hits and 3 RBI. The Mobile Bay Bears lost an 11-inning pitcher's duel 2-1 with David Holmberg on the mound and now travel to Montgomery needing to win 2 out 3 to advance to the championship series. Holmberg was terrific in spite of allowing a solo home run in the 7th inning that tied the game at 1. And up in Missoula the Osprey have hit their stride and and won the opening game of their 3-game series against Great Falls 8-3 for their 5th pressure-packed win in a row.
3 Stars: David Holmberg, Mobile 7 IP, 4 H, 3 BB, 2 K, 1 ER
2 Stars: Josh Bell, Reno 2 for 4, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 DBL, 1 HR, 4 RBI
1 Star: Tyler Kuhn, Reno 4 for 5, 1 R, 3 RBI
0 Stars: Jonathan Griffin, Mobile 0 for 5, 1 K, GIDP
Game summaries after the jump.
Triple A: Reno 11 Sacramento 7. The Aces got out to a nice 6-2 lead through 4 innings but they had to bring the offense late as Sacramento battled back to tie it twice. Tyler Kuhn and Josh Bell finally drove the dagger in during a 4-run 8th inning when Kuhn delivered a 2-run single and Bell followed with a 2-run homer. Charles Brewer started and was doing enough to let his team build the lead but he faltered in the 5th and 6th when the River Cats scored 4 runs to tie the game. Brewer allowed 5 runs (4 earned) on 8 hits and 1 walk over 5 innings with 3 strikeouts. He surrendered 3 home runs. Reno retook the lead in the bottom of the 6th but gave it back when Jensen Lewis allowed a solo home run in the 8th leading to Kuhn's and Bell's heroics. Even though the bullpen surrendered 2 runs in 4 innings they struck out an amazing 11 batters. Game 4 is tonight as Joe Martinez takes the hill for Reno.
Double A: Mobile 1 Montgomery 2. This classic pitcher's duel did not go in Mobile's favor as they lost in 11 innings. David Holmberg started and was clinging to a 1-0 lead entering the 7th when he yielded a leadoff solo home that tied the game. The scored stayed that way until the 11th when Montgomery managed a 2-out RBI single off reliever Eric Smith. Holmberg finished with 7 innings pitched allowing just the 1 run on 4 hits and 3 walks with 2 strikeouts. The offense managed just 7 hits, all singles, with 2 coming from Ollie Linton. The series is tied at 1 game each as they travel to Montgomery for the final 3 games starting tonight.
Rookie: Missoula 8 Great Falls 3. The Osprey are on a roll and it might not end until they win the Pioneer League Championship. They took Game 1 of their opening 3-game playoff series with Great Falls 8-3 with a nice combination of good hitting and good pitching. Starter Chris Pack was solid and pitched out of several jams as he allowed just 1 run on 6 hits and 3 walks over 5 innings with 3 strikeouts. Michael Blake pitched a scoreless 6th and Dexter Price went the final 3 bullpen-saving innings for the save, allowing meaningless runs in the 7th and 9th. A balanced offense got the job done led by Daniel Pulfer who delivered a 2-run triple, and Breland Almadova who went 2 for 3 with 2 RBI. Michael Perez went 2 for 3 with a walk, a run scored, a stolen base and an RBI. Game 2 goes tonight with Yoimer Camacho on the mound.