The Reno Aces couldn’t recover from a disaster of a first inning Thursday night in an 11-1 loss to the Las Vegas 51s in Las Vegas.
The 51s scored six runs in the first inning on four hits, two home runs, two walks, a passed ball and a wild pitch as Aces starter Garrett Mock failed to get out of the first inning. The loss left the Aces, now 21-34, looking for a split in the four-game series finale Friday night.
Las Vegas, which has beaten the Aces by a combined scored of 18-2 the last two nights, is now 26-26. The loss Thursday is the third largest by the Aces this season after a 22-6 loss to Sacramento on April 14 and a 13-1 loss to Omaha on May 9.
Brandon Hicks and Brian Bixler both homered for Las Vegas in a six-run first off Mock. Mock, now 3-3, allowed four hits, two walks and six runs in one inning of work. He was relieved by Bryan Henry who proceeded to give up six hits and five runs in three innings as Las Vegas took an 11-0 lead after four innings.
The only Aces run came on a solo home run by Kila Ka’aihue in the sixth inning. Ka’aihue now has 16 home runs this season.
The Aces, though, had baserunners all night against the 51s. The Aces pounded out 11 hits, including two each in the second and third innings. Chris Owings and Juan Rivera each had three hits and Matt Davidson had two.
The 51s, though, got two hits each from the first seven hitters in their batting order: Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Collin Cowgill, Josh Satin, Wilmer Flores, Eric Campbell, Hicks and Juan Centeno. Cowgill, who played for the Aces in 2011, had two hits and is now 7-for-13 in the series thus far.
Chris Schwinden went 6.2 innings and allowed 10 hits in picking up his third win of the year against five losses. Bryan Woodall, Joe Paterson and Evan Marshall combined to shut out the 51s over the final four innings.