Ildemaro Vargas resumed his All-Star form for the Reno Aces Saturday in a 5-4 loss to Las Vegas, and that’s scary news for the rest of the Pacific Coast League.
The switch-hitting infielder hit a 371-foot home run to the right-field, well-attended party zone in Greater Nevada Field. Vargas, 26, has four round-trippers and a team-leading 27 RBIs. Last season, Vargas finished with 152 hits and 65 RBIs, earning him a spot on the 2017 PCL team. Batting a whopping .350 over his last 10 games, Vargas is rebounding from a relatively slow offensive start in 2018.
Todd Frazier, the former all-star Cincinnati Reds All-Star, has remained a nail in the Aces’ tire. Coming off a hamstring injury, Frazier broke up Jake Buchanan’s no-hit bid in the sixth inning Friday night to seal a win for the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate. He followed it up on Saturday with a two-RBI rip up the middle to cap-off a three-run seventh inning, enough to steal to the lead.
In a no decision effort, Aces southpaw Anthony Vasquez tossed a stellar six innings, surrendering two runs on four hits with four walks and six strikeouts. Vegas starter Corey Oswalt pitched just 3.2 innings, giving up three earned runs on six hits and a walk with four strikeouts.
After a one-run, six-hit performance in Friday’s 2-1 loss, the Aces’ offensive engine was firing on all cylinders Saturday, as the offense unleased 10 hits in front of a paid attendance of 8,080 during Street Vibrations in downtown Reno.
“No matter the outcome, win or lose, adjustments need to be made as the season goes along,” Aces skipper Greg Gross said. “Right now, we’re playing good ball, but consistency is key to improving in the standings.”
Anthony Recker’s RBI double down the third-base line put Reno up 1-0 before Las Vegas left-fielder Zach Borenstein’s served his former team some humble pie, launching a 421-foot two-run blast in the second inning. Borenstein, 27, has two homers and six RBIs in the first four games of the series. He played 280 games with Reno, and is fourth in Aces’ history in homers (38) and fifth in RBIs (166).
The homer from Vargas and RBI single from Christian Walker in the fifth were the final signs of offense the D-backs Triple-A affiliate, the 51s bullpen pitched four scoreless innings. Reliever Kevin McGowan picked-up his second win of the season.
Recker cleans up: Catcher Anthony Recker, tied for the team lead with 8 home runs, batted in the cleanup spot for the first time in his Aces career, Recker went 1-for-4 and has a ,333 average on the season. … Aces hurler Anthony Vasquez went 2-for-2 with two singles in the loss.
Showtime for Barrett: Right-handed pitcher Jake Barrett was called up to the Diamondbacks, who placed righty Jorge De La Rosa on the 10-day disabled list with Achilles tendon bursitis.
On Deck: The five-game series will be decided Sunday. The game will start at 1:05 p.m. The Aces (24-33) and 51s (24-33) haven’t announced starting pitchers.