On Fan Appreciation Day, Reno put on a show for the home crowd of 5,157, taking a 12-8 decision over Tucson at Aces Ballpark Monday afternoon.
The win also gave the Aces a little momentum heading into Wednesday’s playoff opener versus Sacramento. Reno lost its previous two games against Tucson.
The home team grabbed momentum with a four-run bottom of the second, breaking a 1-1 deadlock. Reno had the bases loaded, and Mark Hallberg’s RBI single to third with two outs brought home the go-ahead run. The second run scored on the play due to a throwing error by the Tucson first baseman.
Evan Frey stole home on a successful double steal attempt as Hallberg swiped second to get into scoring position for Ryan Langerhans, who dropped in an RBI double, making it a 5-1 ballgame. Langerhans had two RBIs Monday.
The Padres tried battling back, pushing across two in the top of the third on a wild pitch and an RBI double by Pedro Feliz.
Reno answered back with a run in the bottom of the fourth frame. Hallberg drove in his second run of the game with a sacrifice fly.
Tucson cut the deficit to 6-5 with single runs in the fifth and sixth innings. Pat McKenna blasted a solo shot to center field on the first pitch he saw in the fifth, and Mykal Stokes drove in a run with a liner to center in the sixth. But that was as close as it got.
The Aces blew the game open with a five-run rally in the bottom of the seventh.
Hallberg led off the inning with a double and went to third on a passed ball, which was also ball 4 and put runners on the corners.
Tucson turned to the bullpen and Stiven Osuna walked the first two batters he faced, forcing in a run. Still with the bases loaded and no outs, Angel Berroa came to the plate and sent everyone home with a grand slam over the left-field wall, increasing the lead to 11-5.
In the top of the eighth, a Stokes RBI single capped a two-run rally for Tucson.
Reno added one more run in the bottom half of the inning on Cody Ransom’s two-out double that plated Langerhans.
An error led to the Padres’ final run of the game in the ninth.
Tom Layne picked up the win on the mound for the Aces, allowing five runs — four earned — on eight hits over six innings of work.
Reno hosts Sacramento Wednesday night at 6:35 p.m. in Game 1 of the playoff series.