Reno’s two homers not enough in one-run loss to Salt Lake City
April 12, 2009
SALT LAKE CITY “Agustin Murillo continued his torrid start, giving Reno an early lead with the first home run in franchise history, but the Salt Lake Bees used three homers to claim a 5-4 victory over the Aces in the series finale Sunday afternoon at Spring Mobile Ballpark.
Reno led in the second inning, then regained a lead in the fifth. In the sixth, though, a three-run home run by Salt Lake’s Sean Rodriguez was enough to put the Bees ahead for good in the rubber game of the three-game set.
Reno starter Travis Blackley (0-1) was pinned with the loss. The Australian left-hander lasted five-plus innings, allowing four runs on six hits. He walked one and struck out two. The win went to Salt Lake reliever Francisco Rodriguez (1-0), who tossed two scoreless frames. Rafael Rodriguez allowed a run, but hung on to pick up the save.
After a quiet first, both teams played a little long ball in the second inning. First up was Reno’s Murillo, who blasted a MacDonald offering deep atop the berm in left-center, giving the Aces their first home run in franchise history and the early 1-0 lead. In the home half of the frame, though, the Bees showed a little power of their own. Matt Brown and Brandon Wood went back-to-back, putting the lead into Salt Lake’s hands, 2-1.
In the fourth, Reno got a run back. Ruben Gotay singled, stole second, advanced to third on an error and scooted home on a run-scoring Alex Romero single, knotting the score at 2. An inning later, Reno regained the lead thanks to a two-out, run-scoring single through the box by Brandon Watson to put the Aces ahead 3-2.
In the sixth, the first two Salt Lake batters reached, ending Blackley’s day. Reliever Jose Marte came on and was quickly greeted by Sean Rodriguez, who deposited Marte’s first offering over the wall in right-center, a three-run shot that put Salt Lake ahead, 5-3.
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In the seventh and eighth innings, Reno put two runners on with nobody out. But in both cases, the threat fizzled, and the Aces came up empty. In the ninth, though, Josh Wilson unloaded for a solo home run to left, bringing his club to within a run. That would be as close as Reno would get.
Reno now heads to Colorado Springs to kick-off a four-game set with the Sky Sox at Security Service Field. In the opener Monday, highly-touted prospect Cesar Valdez takes the ball for the Aces. First pitch is slated for 5:05 p.m. and can be heard live on Fox Sports Radio 1450.
The Aces won the first game in franchise history on Saturday night. Reno had 15 hits in a 7-2 victory.