Blackley, Aces flirt with perfection |

Blackley, Aces flirt with perfection

Provided to the Tribune

OMAHA, Neb. – Travis Blackley took a perfect game into the seventh inning, and the Aces lost their no-hit bid in the eighth en route to a 1-0 series-opening victory over the Omaha Royals Sunday at Rosenblatt Stadium.

Blackley retired the first 19 batters he faced before Tug Hulett reached on a throwing error by Rusty Ryal. Jason Urquidez (4-1) then came on in relief and held the O-Royals hitless through the remainder of the seventh inning.

In the top of the eighth, with the game still knotted at 0, Brandon Watson hit a sacrifice fly to chase home Luke Carlin with the go-ahead and eventual game-winning run for Reno.

Leading off the home half of the eighth inning, J.R. House hit a clean single up the middle for the O-Royals, spoiling the Aces’ no-hit bid. But Urquidez was able to keep Omaha off the scoreboard in the eighth before Doug Slaten came on to deal a 1-2-3 ninth inning to preserve the 1-0 victory.

Urquidez earned the victory and Slaten picked up the save, while Omaha starter Lenny DiNardo (7-5) was pinned with the hard-luck loss.

Cole Gillespie provided the lone multi-hit effort for Reno on Sunday night, finishing 2 for 3 at the dish. It was Gillespie’s eighth-inning double that put Carlin into scoring position and set up Watson’s game-winning sacrifice fly.

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The series continues on Monday night from Rosenblatt Stadium. Right-hander Billy Buckner (6-3, 3.60 ERA) takes the ball for Reno, facing his former club. Omaha counters with southpaw Dusty Hughes (1-2, 3.95 ERA). First pitch is set for 5:05 p.m.and, the action can be heard live on Fox Sports Radio 1450 AM.