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Collapse costs Aces
by Dan Eckles
Aug 10, 2011 | 802 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Reno Aces manager Brett Butler (above) imparts some frustration to pitcher Kam Mickolio.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Reno Aces manager Brett Butler (above) imparts some frustration to pitcher Kam Mickolio.
RENO — The Reno Aces had to learn the hard way that one bad inning can come back to haunt you. The Aces played eight pretty good innings, but the seventh inning wasn’t quite up to snuff.

Visiting Nashville managed to score in just two innings Wednesday but that proved to be enough as the Sounds, the AAA affiliate for the Milwaukee Brewers, posted an 11-9 afternoon win over Reno in the finale of the four-game series between the two Pacific Coast League foes.

Nashville swept the series, marking just the second time Reno has been swept in a series this season, but both times have come in the last two weeks.

A 7-0 Aces lead was washed away when Nashville pushed across 10 runs in the seventh against three Reno relievers. Every run was earned. The Sounds (60-59) sent 14 hitters to the plate. They rapped out six hits in the frame and took advantage of four walks and a hit batter.  Nashville clean-up hitter Erick Almonte bashed a two-run and three-run double in the outburst. Caleb Gindl and Brandon Boggs also had two-run doubles in the big inning.

That marked the second time this homestand Reno pitching had given up a double-digit run total in a single inning.

Trailing 10-7, Reno (66-52) got a run back in the bottom of the seventh. Aces leadoff hitter Evan Frey walked and came around to score after singles by Mark Hallberg and Ryan Langerhans followed by an RBI fielder’s choice off the bat of pinch hitter Michael Restovich.

The Aces were held scoreless in the eighth before getting a single run in the ninth, but it did not factor in the end result. Reno was still saddled with the loss, which left the local squad with its first losing homestand of the season.

Reno got on the scoreboard first by playing long ball. Aces first baseman Juan Miranda broke a scoreless tie when he led off the bottom of the first for the Aces, drilling a line drive bomb onto the sidewalk above the grassy knoll beyond the right-field fence. Next, Reno catcher Konrad Schmidt was hit by a pitch. He trotted home when Aces shortstop Angel Berroa did the same by bashing a two-run dinger over the left-field wall.

The Aces extended their edge to 4-0 an inning later. Cole Gillespie laced a two-out single for Reno. He proceeded to steal second and was forced in after a pair of walks and a hit batter, forging the Aces ahead 4-0 after three innings.

Nashville’s generosity did not end with that Reno run. The Aces got three more gift runs in the fifth. Gillespie and Miranda drew walks to get the Reno fifth going, but the Sounds retired the next to Reno hitters. It got ugly from there for the guests. Nashville reliever Zack Segovia issued four straight walks to force in three Reno runs, leaving the scoreboard to read 7-0 in the Aces’ favor.

Reno got a stellar pitching performance from starter Zach Kroenke. The left-hander turned in six shutout innings. He scattered five Nashville hits in a four-strikeout, four-walk outing. Unfortunately for the Aces, Kroenke’s sterling effort went for naught as the Reno bullpen imploded in the top of the seventh.

Reno has a rare off day today, but is back in action Friday at New Orleans. First pitch is set for 5 p.m.   
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