Despite putting on a sixth inning power display that most observers feel will be typical of a Fresno lineup stacked with MLB-experienced sluggers and top prospects, the Grizzlies fell to 0-2 in 2018 at the hands of the Reno Aces on Friday by an 8-4 final.
Reno broke open a scoreless game in the home half of the third. With two out, Jack Reinheimer (2-for-3) and Christian Walker sprayed consecutive RBI singles, before both scored on a Socrates Brito two-run triple. All four runs were unearned.
Despite not allowing an earned run, Fresno starter Trent Thornton (0-1) was saddled with the loss, despite allowing only those three hits. The right-hander walked one and struck out two.
Still leading 4-0 in the fifth, the Aces added to their lead on a Reinheimer two-out solo shot to left, his first homer of the season. Reno starter Taylor Clarke (1-0) picked up the win going five shutout innings allowing just three hits and a walk. The right-hander stymied Fresno bats to the tune of nine strikeouts.
The Grizz bats exploded in the sixth, socking Fresno's first three home runs of the season to all fields. After Drew Ferguson walked with one out, Kyle Tucker (2-for-4) lifted his first career Triple-A home run to the right field alley, at an estimated distance of 448 feet. Tyler White (2-for-4) followed a batter later with a solo shot to center, and Jack Mayfield chipped in a two-out solo shot left to trim Reno's lead to 5-4.
Tucker, the Astros top position player prospect is off to a 4-for-8 start with Fresno, and registered his first two extra-base hits on Friday, also ripping a gap double in the fourth.
The Aces tacked on two runs in the sixth to pad their lead to 7-4; a Yasmany Tomas RBI double and a Daniel Robertson sac fly. It was 8-4 in the eighth after a Marcus Littlewood RBI triple.
Game three of the series is scheduled for Saturday afternoon at 4:05 p.m. at Greater Nevada Field. Probable starting pitchers are RHP Francis Martes for Fresno, and RHP Kris Medlen for Reno.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.