It was a red, white and blue day Wednesday for the Reno Aces and their fans — 10,311 of them, the third largest in history — as the home team set off fireworks at the plate well before the aerial show that followed its 10-5 victory over the San Francisco Giants’ affiliate Sacramento River Cats.
A six-run third inning propelled the Aces as the Biggest Little City’s Triple-A baseball squad returned home to celebrate the Fourth of July in proper fashion.
Catcher Michael Perez finished two-for-three with a home run and two RBIs, marking his sixth homer this season. It was a 414-foot blast to left center.
Kevin Cron and Christian Walker combined for three doubles and four RBIs. Walker has racked up the frequent flier miles this season. “Sky” Walker has been recalled to Arizona four times.
The Independence Day festivities guaranteed a sold-out attendance hours before game time. In their 10-year tenure, the Aces have 48 sellouts.
The fireworks came early for the Aces, who laced 13 hits. Ildemaro Vargas extended his hitting streak to 10 games. His earlier, 14-game hit streak is the longest for Reno this season.
Matt Koch made his fourth start with Reno. Koch, 27, made 12 starts with the Dbacks this season, with a 5-4 record and 4.40 ERA. He allowed just one hit through six innings, surrendering two runs and four walks with six strikeouts. He also had an RBI single at the plate.
Koch struggled with his command early in the first inning, starting the game off with a six-pitch walk to ex-Giant Gregor Blanco. His location was off, as well, leaving a high 91-mph fastball for Giants’ top prospect Chris Shaw, who launched it 442 feet to center. Koch found a groove with back-to-back strikeouts in the fourth as he showcased his slicing cutter and deceptive change-up.
Sacramento countered with southpaw Matt Gage. Gage added his ninth loss of the season, pitching 2.2 innings giving up seven runs on 10 hits with two strikeouts.
After the third inning rally, Reno poured it on with a three-run seventh. Blanco’s two-run blast in the eighth wasn’t enough.
Cron Named PCL Player of the Week: Kevin Cron was named the PCL Player of the Week for hitting .385 (10-for-26) with five home runs and 15 RBIs from June 25- July 1. He hit eight home runs and 30 RBIs in June.
Brito’s 10-game hit streak snapped: Aces’ right fielder Socrates Brito’s 10-game hit streak was snapped in Tuesday’s 11-4 loss to Tacoma. During the streak, Brito hit .361 with five home runs, eight RBIs and 12 runs scored.
This day in Reno history: “The Fight of the Century” on July, 4, 1910, took place just six blocks away from Greater Nevada Field on Fourth Street. Jack Johnson retained the heavyweight championship in a fight against “Great White Hope” Jim Jeffries. The fight brought more than 30,000 fans to the Biggest Little City.
Notes: Aces’ infielder Juniel Querecuto has hit safely in all but four of his 22 games with Reno. … The Aces are 4-6 all-time in games played on Independence Day. … Eight of the nine Aces starters recorded a hit.
On Deck: Reno (39-47) will face Sacramento (38-48) for the second game of the five-game series. Reno will send right-hander Jake Buchanan (5-7) to the mound against southpaw Daniel Camarena (2-6). The game starts 7:05 p.m.