It’s bombs away for Aces’ Brandon Allen
July 23, 2009
RENO – Even with fans in position, Brandon Allen kept a souvenir out of
The left-handed hitting Allen hit two tape-measure home runs, with the first
clearing the berm in left field, to power the Reno Aces to a 7-5 win over
the Portland Beavers at Aces Ballpark in front of 5,231 spectators
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Tony Barnette pitched seven strong innings to earn the win and even his
record at 7-7. A double play to end the game helped Reid Mahon earn his
second save of the season.
The Aces conclude the series with Portland, and the homestand at 7:05 tonight. Right-hander Seth Etherton (7-6) goes for Reno against Portland righty
Josh Banks (5-3).
“I was looking for good pitches to hit,” Allen said. “That’s all the game
is, getting a good pitch and not missing it.”
Allen didn’t miss a fastball served up by Portland starter Wade LeBlanc
(2-8) to lead off the second inning, sending it down the line and far beyond
the right field fence. The ball cleared the berm, where thousands of fans
generally sit, and hit a barbed wire fence that separates the ballpark from
the Truckee River.
Portland had taken a 3-0 lead in the first inning on a three-run home run by
Danny Putnam. The homer cut the lead to 3-2.
With the game tied in the fifth inning at 4-4 and two runners on, Allen sent
a LeBlanc hanging curve onto the knoll just below the flag poles, giving
Reno a 7-4 lead. The Aces never trailed again.
“What a night Allen had,” Aces manager Brett Butler said. “That first home
run went over 500 feet. It’s the longest I’ve seen here so far. Then he hit
the three-run shot and really carried us.”
While Allen was busy bashing the ball, Barnette recovered from a shaky start
to retire 11 consecutive batters from the fourth through the seventh
innings, striking out five in that stretch and seven overall.
After Chad Huffman led off the fourth with a home run to center to give
Portland it’s final lead at 4-3, Barnette surrendered a single to Yamid
Haad. Reno then turned a 5-4-3 double play off a Sean Kazmar grounder to
begin Barnette’s streak of retired batters. Some key defensive plays by
second baseman Rusty Ryal and third baseman Agustin Murillo helped keep the
Beavers off the bases.
“For our team to be successful we’ve got to have our starting pitcher come
out and throw the ball well,” Butler said. “Barnette was able to settle down
and get the job done.”
Portland scored the game’s final run in the eighth on a solo shot by Craig
Stansberry off of Jason Urquidez. Mahon came on in the ninth and promptly
walked Putnam on four pitches and received an immediate mound visit from
pitching coach Mike Parrott. Mahon then retired Chad Huffman on a ground
ball and coaxed Haad into a grounder that shortstop Ed Rogers booted for the
only error by either team. Kamar then grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to
end the game.