Aces edge Grizzlies behind the pitching of Etherton |

Aces edge Grizzlies behind the pitching of Etherton

Provided to the Tribune

FRESNO ” Seth Etherton gave Reno six solid innings and was followed by a gutsy effort from the bullpen, as the Aces evened the series with a 3-2 victory over the Fresno Grizzlies Sunday afternoon at Chukchansi Park.

Reno trailed by a run early, but hopped on the scoreboard to tie the score in the fourth thanks to a run-scoring single off the bat of Josh Whitesell. Two innings later, the Aces would take their first lead of the game, using a two-run double by Ruben Gotay to push the score to 3-1. Fresno clawed back with a run in the home half of the sixth, but from there the Reno bullpen took over and slammed the door for an Aces; victory.

Etherton (2-1) earned the victory, scattering two runs ” one earned ” on four hits. Etherton walked one and punched out two in a 92-pitch effort. Out of the Aces’ bullpen, Jose Marte picked up a hold after tossing two scoreless frames. Marte allowed three hits and a walk, while striking out one. In the ninth, Leo Rosales came on to deal a shutout ninth, securing his first save of the season.

For Fresno, Steve Hammond (1-2) was pinned with the loss. The southpaw surrendered three runs ” two earned ” on nine hits over six innings of work. The Grizzlies’ bullpen kept Reno quiet over the final three frames.

At the plate, Whitesell paced the Reno offense with three hits, a run scored and an RBI. Gotay collected two hits on the day, including the go-ahead two-run double in the sixth. In all, 7 of 9 Reno starters picked up at least one hit on the afternoon.

The Aces and Grizzlies will lock-up again Monday night from Chukchansi Park. Right-hander Billy Buckner (0-0, 4.50 earned run average) will make his first start of the 2009 season for Reno. Fresno is set to counter with righty Billy Sadler (0-0, 4.09 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. and can be heard live on Fox Sports Radio 1450 AM.

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Reno will return to Aces Ballpark on Thursday to kick off a four-game homestand against the Portland Beavers, Triple-A Affiliate of the San Diego Padres. For tickets, stop by the Aces Ballpark Box Office or call (775) 334-700.