The Fresno Grizzlies (47-41) dropped their third straight game with an 8-5 loss to the Reno Aces (54-34) in the series opener of a three-game set at Chukchansi Park. It's the Grizzlies second three-game losing streak at home (April 24-May 2), their longest such streak of the season.
The Aces took a 2-0 lead when Jeremy Hazelbaker (3-for-5) scored on a Zach Borenstein sacrifice fly in the first and Ildemaro Vargas (2-for-5) scored on a Borenstein RBI single in the third. In the bottom of the third the Grizzlies tied the contest 2-2. Tony Kemp (2-for-5) extended his season-long hit streak to 15 games with a solo home run to right, his fourth homer of the season. Jon Kemmer (2-for-5) then scored on a Tyler White RBI single.
The two clubs traded leads in the fourth. In the top of the inning Vargas doubled to bring home Hazelbaker who also doubled to get on to give Reno a 3-2 lead. In the bottom of the frame Teoscar Hernandez blasted his eighth home run of the season. A.J. Reed scored on the two-run shot to right to give Fresno a 4-3 lead.
Reno tied the contest 4-4 when Christian Walker (2-for-4) led off the fifth with a solo home run to right. It was his 22nd homer of the season. The Grizzlies were quick to get the run back in the bottom of the inning to go ahead 5-4 when Kemmer scored again on another White RBI, this time a sacrifice fly.
The pattern continued in the top of the sixth when the Aces tied the game 5-5. Hank Conger (single) scored when Vargas grounded out. This time, Reno increased their lead to 7-5 in the seventh. Kristopher Negron and Conger each hit a sacrifice fly to score Borenstein (walk) and Jack Reinheimer (3-for-5, single) respectively. In the eighth, Vargas scored on a throwing error to increase their lead to an 8-5 final.
Fresno starter David Martinez went four innings and allowed three runs on five hits and four walks with two strikeouts. Reliever Kevin Comer (3-3) suffered the loss in 2.0 IP. Right-handers Andrew Thome and Jacob Dorris made their Triple-A debuts in the eighth and ninth innings. They each struck out a batter. Aces starter Matt Koch (1-1) earned the win allowing five runs on seven hits and a walk with three strikeouts through six innings.
The Grizzlies and the Aces will play a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 5:05 p.m. to close out the three-game series. Both games will be seven innings. The probable starters are RHP Braden Shipley (5-3, 4.88) and LHP Eric Jokisch (7-3, 4.87) for Reno against RHP Rogelio Armenteros (1-0, 0.00) and RHP Kyle Smith (1-0, 7.63) for Fresno.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.