Reno Aces unleash five home runs in assault on Las Vegas

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Lefty Alex Young gets the win in his Triple-A debut on Wednesday at Greater Nevada Field.
Tahoe Onstage photos by Michael Smyth

The Reno Aces’ offense returned to Greater Nevada Field for some sizzling home cookin’ Wednesday night, serving Las Vegas an 8-5 dish of a defeat.

Five of a kind Aces — Jose Queliz, Kevin Cron, Ildemaro Vargas, Evan Marzilli and Cesar Puello — launched home runs, each longer than 375 feet, a feat last occurred since April 28, 2011, against the Tacoma Rainers.

With no off days after a 13-game road trip, the Aces took Game 1 of a five-game home series with their in-state PCL foe, the Las Vegas 51s. The Aces won’t be comfy in Reno for long — they ship out to Nashville on Tuesday.

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Cesar Puello was one of five Aces to homer.

It was an intriguing matchup of southpaw hurlers on a night with a heavy wind favoring the hitters. Former Aces’ starter Aaron Laffey toed the rubber for Las Vegas, pitching five innings and giving up eight earned runs on eight hits and two strikeouts.

Fast-rising Major League prospect Alex Young had a 5-1 record, 3.91 ERA  with 48 punchouts in Double-A when he was promoted to Reno. A second-round pick, Young, 24, was selected 43rd overall out of TCU in 2015 by the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Aces parent club. Young went 5.2 innings, surrendering three runs on nine hits and two walks with five strikeouts.

Young blanked the 51s for the first three frames before Zach Borenstein blasted an RBI double down the third base line, tying the game, 1-1. Borenstein is familiar with Greater Nevada Field – he’s fourth in Aces’ history in games played (280), homers (38) and fifth in RBIs (166).

Reno stormed back with a three-homer, five-run fifth inning highlighted by long shots from Marzilli, Vargas and Puello. Las Vegas chipped into the deficit with two runs in the sixth and one run in the eighth, making the score 8-4 in the Aces’ favor. Borenstein added another RBI to his impressive night, but the ex-D-Back bullpen duo of Braden Shipley and Jimmie Sherfy put the game to rest.

The offensive onslaught put on by the Aces treated 3,272 rowdy fans in attendance to a free Jumbo Jack and scoop of gelato.

Key performers for Las Vegas: Borenstein (2-5, 2B, 2 RBI) and Jose Lobaton (1-3, RBI).

Medlen Hangs it Up: Veteran right hander Kris Medlen, 32, retired on May 27, capping-off an eight-year career in the majors with Kris Mdelenthe Diamondbacks, Atlanta Braves and Kansas City Royals. Melden was with the Braves for five seasons, winning a career high 15 games in 2013. He pitched for the 2015 World Series champion Kansas City Royals. His career record is 41-26 with a 3.33 ERA in 174 games. In 2012, two seasons after having Tommy John surgery, Medlen had a 34.3 scoreless inning streak. The Braves won 23 straight games in which Medlen started, an MLB record.

Dealing with injuries, Medlen lost his only start with the Diamondbacks this season. He went 0-5 in seven games with the Aces with a 5.03 ERA and 29 strikeouts in 34 innings.

News and Notes:  Ildemaro Vargas leads the Aces in RBIs (25) to go along with three home runs. … Jose Queliz’s third-inning homer in his first home game in Reno marks his first career homer with the Aces… Jimmie Sherfy recorded his ninth save of the season in nine opportunities, marking his 41st save with Reno.

On Deck: It’s Thirsty Thursday at Greater Nevada Field, as Reno’s Bradin Hagens will go toe-to-toe against Las Vegas starter Chris Flexen. Game time is 7:05 p.m.

– Isaiah Burrows

Tahoe Onstage
In his first home game with the Aces, catcher Alex Queliz tags out Las Vegas center fielder Kevin Kaczmarski, who went 4-for-5 and is batting .529 since being called up from Advanced-A league.
Michael Smyth / Tahoe Onstage
Tahoe Onstage
Queliz connects for the Aces, who had five home runs in their win on Wednesday.
Tahoe Onstage photos by Michael Smyth

ABOUT Isaiah Burrows

Isaiah Burrows
Tahoe Onstage sportswriter Isaiah Burrows also is a general assignment reporter for CarsonNow.org, an online news source in Carson City. He is a journalism major at the University of Nevada, Reno, where is the sports editor of the Sagebrush student newspaper. He is the Reno Aces beat writer for Tahoe Onstage.

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