As we noted earlier, the Reno Aces effectively started their playoff campaign today, beginning a five-game series in Sacramento, needing to win four of the games to pass the team they are playing in the standings and take the division title. Things could hardly have got off to a better start, as the Aces sent 15 to the plate in the first two innings, and only left one man on base. The visitors cantered on to victory from there, so find themselves now needing three of the remaining four for a division championship.
3 stars: Mike Jacobs, Reno 3 for 5, 2 R, DBL, HR (16), 5 RBI
2 stars: Cody Reed + Kevin Simmons, Missoula 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 K, W
1 star: Stewart Ijames, Missoula 5 for 9, R, 3 RBI (double-header)
0 stars: Austin Platt, Hillsboro 1.2 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, L (3-3)
Triple-A Reno 9 @ Sacramento 4. After scoring three in the first, two on a double by DH Mike Jacobs, the Aces blew things open with a five-run second, all the runs scoring on a two-run homer by Nick Ahmed (#4) and a three-run shot by Jacobs (#16). Jacobs finished a triple short of the cycle, driving in five runs on three hits, with four other Aces having two-hit nights; LF Garrett Weber doubled and singled, driving in a run. Clayton Richard made his first start for the visitors, and was good enough, given the run support, scattering 11 hits across 6.1 innings, resulting in three runs with one walk and one strikeout.
Double-A Mobile: off day
High-A Visalia 6, Modesto 1. Brandon Sinnery allowed one run over six innings, on four hits and three walks with six strikeouts, improving his record to 14-7, and dropping his ERA to 4.02. Meanwhile, the Rawhide broke out the big bats, with back-to-back home-runs by 1B Steve McQuail (#9 here, #15 overall) and 2B Kevin Medrano (#4) in the second, with DH Rudy Flores getting his 27th one inning later. Medrano ended the night with two hits and a stolen base, while SS Raul Navarro tripled among his three knocks for Visalia, RF Socrates Brito had a hit, a sacrifice fly and stole a pair of bags.
Class A South Bend 8, Bowling Green 1. Not many times a team will score eight runs, on only two hits with RISP, but the Silver Hawks did it here. This game was tied at one, going to the bottom of the sixth, where South Bend plated seven, getting things going with a lead-off homer by SS Andrew Velazquez, his ninth. RF Justin Williams had three hits and drove in two, while 1B Marty Herum also had a three-hit game. Ryan Doran improved to 4-0, pitching six innings of one-hit ball, on six hits with no walks and four strikeouts. Tom Jameson struck out three over two frames of scoreless relief.
A short Hillsboro 2 @ Tri City 5. Austin Platt had a bad start, having to be bailed out before the end of the second inning. and being charged with five runs on five hits and two walks, with just the one strikeout as he retired five of 12 batters faced. The Hops bats couldn't come back after being 5-0 down after two innings, managing only five hits, two of them by 2B Steve Nyisztor. He and RF Stryker Trahan had the only extra-base hits for Hillsboro, each getting a double and driving in a run. The Hops bullpen pitched well, with 6.1 scoreless innings: Kyle Anderson had 2.1 of those, while Dan Savas struck out three over two frames.
Rookie: Missoula 4/3, Billings 0/5. The Osprey played a 7-inning double-header, and blanked Billings in the opener, Cody Reed and Kevin Simmons combining on a two-hitter. Each allowed one hit, Simmons striking out five and walking none in his four innings. RF Stewart Ijames had three hits and drove in two, with LF Gerard Hernandez getting two hits. The night-cap proved much tighter, Gabriel Moya allowing two runs in five innings, with Ijames and 2B Fernery Ozuna getting two hits. The game went into extras tied at three, but Anthony Bazzani gave up two runs in his second innings of relief, to take the loss.
AZL D-backs: off day