Reno Aces drop series opener in Fresno |

Reno Aces drop series opener in Fresno

Provided to the Tribune

FRESNO ” Luke Carlin smashed a two-run home run in the seventh inning, but an early deficit was too much to recover from for Reno Saturday night, as the Fresno Grizzlies topped the Aces 9-2 in the series opener at Chukchansi Park.

The Grizzlies jumped on top early and never looked back, scoring twice in the first and pushing across two more in the second. A three-run fifth inning put Fresno in the driver’s seat for good. The Aces used Carlin’s two-run drive in the seventh to pull to within five, but Fresno answered with two runs of its own in the home half of the inning to quell Reno’s late-inning comeback efforts.

Aces’ starter Tony Barnette (0-2) was saddled with the loss, surrendering seven runs on 11 hits over five innings pitched. Barnette walked one and struck out four. Out of the Reno bullpen, Right-handed pitcher Josh Ellis allowed two runs on three hits over 1 2/3 innings pitched and right-hand pitcher Leo Rosales worked a scoreless 1 1/3 innings.

The win went to Grizzlies starter Kevin Pucetas, who scattered five hits over 6.2 innings pitched. The lone blemish on Pucetas’ line was Carlin’s two-run homer in the seventh. He walked one and struck out four. Three Fresno relievers combined to hold the Reno offense silent over the final 2.1 frames.

At the plate for Reno, three Aces were responsible for all six hits on the evening. Carlin singled in addition to his home run, while Agustin Murillo doubled and singled, and Brandon Watson chipped in a pair of base hits.

The series continues Sunday afternoon at Chukchansi Park. Reno sends RHP Seth Etherton (1-1, 3.94 earned run average) to the bump, while the Grizzlies are set to counter with LHP Steve Hammond (1-1, 4.11 ERA). First pitch is set for 2:05 p.m. and can be heard live on Fox Sports Radio 1450 AM.