Tension was still high between the Reno Aces and Albuquerque Isotopes Sunday night at Aces Ballpark after Saturday night’s bench clearing brawls.
After Friday night’s 16-7 loss, Reno tempers were flaring on Saturday when Aces pitcher Mike Bolsinger threw high and inside to Albuquerque’s Esribel Arruebarrena in the second inning that led to the benches clearing in an incident that was mostly contact free.
Arruebarrena struck out in the same at-bat and had a few words with Aces catcher Blake Lalli that erupted in a fight that cleared both benches and resulted in a total of 10 ejections between both teams.
“It’s just one of those unfortunate incidents in baseball and sometimes things get escalated quickly when you have a bunch of guys on the field,” said Reno manager Phil Nevin.
Reno went on to win the game 7-3.
“We played great. After the fight, sometimes things like that, unfortunately, you look for the positives in things, but I thought we played great after that. It was a team win. Sometimes those things do bring teams together,” Nevin said.
Bolsinger earned the win going 5.2 innings allowing two runs on nine hits and striking out six.
Jordan Pacheco, Andy Marte, Mike Jacobs, Argenis Diaz and Bobby Wilson all recorded RBIs in the game.
On Sunday night, Reno left the bats at home producing only six hits in the game. Albuquerque went on to win 5-2.
Albuquerque took a 2-0 lead in the second inning on a double by Walter Ibarra scoring Alex Guerrero and Mike Baxter. The Isotopes secured the win in the seventh inning when Baxter hit his fifth homer of the season and, a few batters later, Joc Pederson hit a two-run blast scoring Ibarra.
Reno’s two runs came in the fifth inning when Andrew Chafin grounded into a bases-loaded double-play that scored Lalli. A few batters later, Garrett Weber singled bringing home Ronny Cedeno.
Chafin got the start on the mound and went 6.2 innings allowing five runs on nine hits with two walks and six strikeouts. Despite the loss, Nevin was pleased with Chafin’s performance.
“I thought (Chafin) pitched pretty good, he really just made two poor pitches (all night), the one to Ibarra in the second and the home run to Pederson,” Nevin said.
Reno earned the series split Monday night as pitcher Charles Brewer went eight scoreless innings allowing just three hits with five strikeouts and no walks.
The Aces threatened with base runners through the first four innings and finally struck in the fifth scoring all six runs.
Brewer started the scoring with a three-run double scoring Mike Freeman, Wilson and Cedeno.
Brewer then came home on a Roger Kieschnick double who later scored on an Aaron Cunningham single to make the score 6-0.
Will Harris came in from the bullpen to pitch the ninth inning and to seal the win.
Reno comes out of the series with a 58-52 record sitting four games behind Sacramento in the Pacific Coast League Pacific Northern division. The team travel to Fresno for a four-game series against the last place Grizzlies.
As a result of Saturday’s brawl, six Reno players have been suspended for their involvements. Pitchers Chafin (7 games), Kameron Loe (4 games) and Will Harris (3 games), along with position players Jacobs (3 games), Lalli (3 games) and Cunningham (3 games) will all be serving suspensions. Chafin and Lalli sat out Monday’s game and the others will serve staggered dates due to the high volume of players. All players involved in the brawl were also fined an undisclosed amount.