ROUND ROCK, Texas - The Round Rock Express (62-62) couldn't get much going offensively Wednesday night as they were edged by the Reno Aces (67-58) 3-2 at Dell Diamond.
Reno jumped on top in the third only to have their one-run lead negated by Express CF Jared Hoying in the home half of the inning. Aces CF Blake Tekotte led off the inning with a ground-rule double and later scored on a two-out double by Pacific Coast League batting leader 3B Andy Marte. In the bottom of the frame, Hoying knotted the game with his team-leading 21st home run of the season, an opposite field shot into the left-center field bullpen to tie the game at 1-1.
The Aces quickly regained their advantage in the top of the fourth on a two-out, two-run Ronny Cedeno home run. The blast onto the grass berm in left field was the second baseman's third homer since joining Reno on July 1.
Express 2B Brent Lillibridge displayed a keen sense of the strike zone in the sixth to pull his club to within one at 3-2. With the bases loaded and two outs, Lillibridge held back as Reno starter Lucas Harrell missed the zone with four pitches to plate LF Ryan Rua from third.
Both offenses stalled out over the last three innings, giving E-Train reliever LHP Jimmy Reyes (0-1, 6.94 ERA) a loss for his first career Triple-A decision. Reyes, who entered for starter RHP Lisalverto Bonilla in the fourth, served up two hits, including Cedeno's round tripper.
Despite the loss, Round Rock got excellent relief performances from right-handers Matt West and Jon Edwards. West struck out four in two scoreless frames, while Edwards struck out four over three scoreless.
On the flip side, Reno starting pitcher RHP Lucas Harrell (6-3, 5.29 ERA) earned his first win this month after allowing two runs on six hits over 5.1 innings. Harrell struck out four and walked four. Aces RHP Will Harris, meanwhile, worked a perfect ninth to pick his first save of the year.
The Express and Aces will be back in action on Thursday with game three of their four-game series. Texas Rangers LHP Derek Holland (0-0, 36.00 ERA) is expected to make his second start with Round Rock as he continues his rehab assignment. Reno will counter with RHP Bradin Hagens (0-1, 3.60 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. as The Original Thirsty Thursday returns to Dell Diamond, courtesy of Firetrol Protection Systems.