MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Roger Kieschnick hit a game-winning RBI single in the top of the ninth inning to give the visiting Reno Aces a 4-3 win over the Memphis Redbirds in the opener of a four-game series on Friday night at AutoZone Park.
In the ninth, Nick Ahmed reached on an infield single, advanced to third on a two-base throwing error by Eric Fornataro (1-2), and came home to score the unearned run on Kieschnick's hit to right.
First baseman Xavier Scruggs hit his fifth homer of the season, a game-tying, three-run blast in the sixth. Catcher Ed Easley recorded his second straight two-hit effort and provided two of Memphis' five hits.
For the second consecutive day, all three Redbird runs were scored via a three-run homer late in the game.
Reno jumped ahead at 3-0 in the third inning against starter Angel Castro, thanks to three consecutive one-singles and an Andy Marte RBI double. Outfielder Shane Robinson ended the inning with an outstanding, over-the-shoulder, run-saving catch.
The Aces remained ahead until one swing of the bat from Scruggs in the sixth. After singles from Easley and Scott Moore and a coaching visiting to the mound, Reno starter Andrew Chafin offered up the homer to Scruggs that was lined over the right field wall.
Castro scattered eight hits over seven innings of work for a no-decision. The veteran right-hander walked two and struck out four while matching a season-high innings.
Chafin gave up five hits, including Scruggs' big fly in the sixth, before departing. Kevin Munson (2-2) pitched two scoreless for the win before Matt Stites converted his 10th save with a perfect ninth.
The Redbirds and Aces continue their series at 6:05 pm CT on Saturday night at AutoZone Park. Left-hander Tim Cooney (6-4, 3.32) is scheduled to start for Memphis against right-hander Bo Schultz (4-4, 5.35).