Eighth-inning grand slam by Tacoma does in Aces
TACOMA, Wash.” Reno took a 1-0 lead into the eighth inning Tuesday night, but Tacoma pushed across five runs in the home half of the eighth to take a 5-1 advantage and the series-opening victory over the Aces at Cheney Stadium.
Reno scored a run in the third inning, and that 1-0 lead stood up until the eighth, when Tacoma’s offense came to life. Aces’ reliever Doug Slaten walked home the tying run, then surrendered a grand slam to Chris Shelton, giving the Rainiers a 5-1 lead. Slaten was ejected from the ballgame three batters later, ending his night after retiring just one batter.
Aces’ starter Hector Ambriz (1-3) was dominant for much of the night, keeping Tacoma off the scoreboard through seven innings. He was responsible, though, for the tying and go-ahead runs in the eighth, pinning him with the loss. Ambriz walked two and struck out four.
Rainiers’ starter Josh Hall worked 5 1/3 innings, allowing just a run on six hits. Hall walked two and didn’t strike out a batter. Jared Wells (1-0) picked up the victory in relief, working a scoreless frame. Reno native Randy Messenger retired the final batter of the game to collect his 10th save.
At the dish for Reno, Luke Carlin and Abraham Nunez picked up two hits apiece. Trent Oeltjen drove in the lone Aces run.
The series rolls on from Cheney Stadium on Wednesday night. Right-hander Cesar Valdez (3-4, 4.21 earned run average) takes the ball for the Aces, while the Rainiers turn to righty Doug Fister (1-0, 5.24 ERA). First pitch is set for 7 p.m., and the action can be heard live on Fox Sports Radio 1450 AM.
The Aces return home on June 11 for a four-game set with Salt Lake and a three-game series with intrastate rival Las Vegas.
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