Reno damaged their playoff chances with a 5-4 loss to Sacramento Saturday night. They are now tied with the River Cats for first place with two games to play and now will need to win both since Sacramento holds the tie-breaker with a better heads-up record.
3 Stars: Brad Keller, Hillsboro 6 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 8 K, 0 ER, W (1-0)
2 Stars: Rudy Flores, Visalia 2 for 4, 1 R, 1 HR (28), 3 RBI
1 Star: Aaron Blair, Mobile 5 IP, 2 H, 6 BB, 7 K, 0 ER
0 Stars: Dallas Newton, Missoula 4 IP, 8 H, 1 BB, 3 K, 7 ER, 3 HR
AAA: Reno 4 @ Sacramento 5. The Aces got off to a good start with 3 runs in the 1st inning and Bradin Hagens started out with 3 shutout innings. But the Cats got 1 in the 4th and 3 in the 5th to take a 4-3 lead before Danny Dorn tied the game with a solo home run in the 7th. In the 8th inning Zeke Spruill surrendered a soft single, a walk and a hit batter before Joe Paterson came on and induced a soft grounder that scored what proved to be the game winner. The offense only managed 5 hits with 2 coming from A.J. Pollock including a triple and 2 RBI. Chris Owings went 0 for 4 with 2 strikeouts.
AA: Game 1. Mobile 1 @ Jacksonville 3. Braden Shipley got the start and was so-so allowing 3 runs over 5 innings on 3 hits and 4 walks while striking out 6. The offense had a whopping 3 hits so Shipley took the loss.
AA: Game 2. Mobile 0 @ Jacksonville 1. Our other top pitching prospect Aaron Blair started the nightcap and he put up 5 zeros before leaving having thrown 101 pitches. His control was shaky with 6 walks but he only allowed 2 hits and struck out 7. In the bottom of the 7th RJ Hively served up the walk-off loss on 3 hits, a walk and a wild pitch. Three more hits was all the offense could muster in this one too.
A+: Visalia 12 @ Bakersfield 3. The bottom four hitters in the lineup combined to go 10 for 18 with 9 runs scored to make a winner of Andrew Barbosa. Barbosa wasn't all that sharp but was good enough allowing 3 runs over 5+ innings on 8 hits and 3 walks. The bottom-of-the-order gang included Ronnie Freeman, Socrates Brito, Kevin Medrano and Ryan Gebhardt. Rudy Flores had 2 hits and 3 RBI including his 28th home run.
A: South Bend 5 @ Lansing 1. Blake Perry had a very solid start allowing just a 1st-inning solo home run over 6 innings with 5 strikeouts. The offense scored 2 in the 1st and 3 in the 2nd to put this game on cruise control. Marty Herum had 2 hits and Andrew Velazquez picked up his 15th triple of the year.
A-: Hillsboro 1 Eugene 0. Brad Keller got bumped up to Hillsboro and in his first start was downright dominating with 6 shutout innings on 1 hit and 1 walk while striking out 8. The relief corps of Markus Solbach, Tyler Toyfair and Dustin Loggins made a 1-0 lead hold up with 3 shutout innings. Steve Nyisztor had 2 of the team's 5 hits and Grant Heyman drove in the lone run.
R: Missoula 6 Billings 10. Dallas Newton wasn't so hot as the starter (who is in the Pioneer League?) allowing 7 runs over 4 innings. Brody Greer surrendered 3 more in the 9th and this game was never really in doubt. The offense did provide 11 hits with 2 by Trevor Mitsui and 2 more by Taylor Ard. Stewart Ijames hit his 12th home run in 30 games.