The Reno Aces and Salt Lake Bees each started future big league hurlers on Tuesday, but when the wind is blowing out to right at Greater Nevada Field, a pitchers’ duel is about as rare as a poker player drawing to an inside straight.
Taylor Clarke won his sixth game in a row for the Aces, which came out on top 13-2 over Salt Lake, knocking its young phenom, Griffin Canning, out of the game in the fourth inning.
Designated hitter Yasmany Tomas led Reno’s 16-hit assault with three hits, including a second-inning home run to the spectators’ lawn above the Aces bullpen. He also doubled and knocked in four runs. His batting average improved to .252.
All nine Reno batters had a hit in the game, impressive because at times Canning, 22, had Aces hitters off-balance. Six of the 11 batters he retired went via strikeout. He relied on off-speed pitches early but occasionally fired 96 mph fastballs. Canning is a 2017 second-round pick out of UCLA, who has been involved in two combined no-hitters this season, which began for him in the Single-A California League.
Canning’s changeups put him ahead in the count 0-2 against Tomas. But he failed to get a third off-speed pitch by right-hand hitting Tomas, who arched his fourth home run of the season to the opposite field.
Tomas hit 31 homers in 2016 for the Aces’ parent team, the Arizona Diamondbacks, who are paying him $42.5 million through 2020. Ostensibly, Tomas is in the minors working on his defense in left field, but he’s certainly comfortable as a designated hitter.
Clarke lowered his ERA to 4.01 with a seven-inning performance. He gave up eight hits and two earned runs to the top home-run hitting team in the entire minor leagues. Clarke’s record is 8-5 and he has the second most wins in the Pacific Coast League.
Notes: The Arizona Diamondbacks recalled pitcher Jimmie Sherfy for the second time this season and fourth time since last August. … First place Salt Lake has a PCL-leading 112 home runs, which is the second most in baseball behind the New York Yankees. … The Bees caps have St. Louis Cardinals lettering and their uniform colors are Pittsburgh Pirates yellow and black. They are the Triple-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels. … Dbacks pitcher Robbie Ray is scheduled to start Wednesday vs the Marlins. The 2017 NL All-Star missed a couple of months with a rib injury. He played a rehab game in Reno last week.
On Deck: Game 3 of the series is at 7:05 Wednesday. Aces 31-year-old left-hander Anthony Vasquez (5-2, 4.17 ERA) will oppose Bees 22-year-old righty Luis Pena (1-1, 5.68 in two starts). Pena had 12 starts earlier this season in Double-A with the Mobile BayBears.