Cesar Puello helped the Reno Aces extend their win streak to five games Sunday in a 5-1 victory over the Tacoma Rainiers. Puello finished 3-for-3, with a triple, two singles and a RBI, bumping his batting average to .328, with one homer and 8 RBIs on the year.
With the win, Reno stands at 13-18 on the season, trailing Tacoma, Sacramento and Fresno in the PAC Northern standings.
A familiar face was also sighted at Greater Nevada Field on a bright Sunday afternoon in front of 5,011 sun kissed fans.
Jayson Werth’s playing career has stretched over 15 years with the Toronto Blue Jays, Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals, batting .262 with 229 homers and 799 RBI for his MLB career. Werth, 38, who signed a minor league deal with the Seattle Mariners, finished 1-for-4 with an infield base hit.
“He looks like the same Jayson to me,” said Aces skipper Greg Gross. “I don’t see much different in terms of his swing other than some rust. But that comes with age and not having any spring training under his belt. In the end, he will be fine and I was excited to see him playing today.”
On the pitching front, Reno’s right hander Bradin Hagens faced off against four-year MLB starter Christian Bergman. Since making his big league debut in 2014, Bergman, 30, has logged more than 200 innings and 123 punchouts with the Colorado Rockies and Seattle Mariners. He played in Japan the last two seasons with the Hiroshima Toyo Carp. Bergman pitched five innings, allowing four earned runs on eight hits and one walk with four strikeouts.
Kristopher Negron rounded the bases thanks to an RBI double from Evan Marzilli. After a stint with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Aces fan-favorite Christian Walker returned with a bang, blasting an RBI double into deep center to cap off a four-hit third inning and 3-0 Aces lead.
Anthony Recker brought chips to the Aces hitting party, smacking a single to left and scoring Ildemaro Vargas for his ninth RBI of the 2018 campaign. In just four frames of work, Reno tallied eight hits.
Hagens’ potential shutout was cut short in the sixth inning, when he left the game with an apparent minor lower body injury. In his second start of the season, he pitched five innings, allowing one earned run on three hits and one walk with four strikeouts. He was replaced by reliever Joey Krehbiel, and the bullpen gave up only one run in the final four innings.
An RBI single from Mariners top prospect Daniel Vogelbach cut the Tacoma deficit to 4-1 in the sixth. Reno countered the next-half inning with a sacrifice fly to shallow left field from Cody Decker, scoring Puello.
The duo of Krehbiel and Neftali Feliz put the game on ice for the Aces, ending in a dominant win.
Key performers for Tacoma included Vogelbach (1-4, RBI) and Cameron Perkins (2-4, 2B).
Notes: The Aces are 5-0 when the starting lineup includes Christian Walker, who was called up to Arizona on April 7 and optioned back to Reno on May 3 … Over his last seven games, Evan Marzili is 10-for-25 with one home run and 8 RBIs. … UNR Alum Braden Shipley was called up to the Arizona Diamondbacks Saturday. Shipley leads Reno in strikeouts (28) and wins (2).
On deck: The Aces go for a series sweep on Monday when Reno right-hander Taylor Clarke, 2-4, faces the Rainiers left-hander Roenis Elias, 0-1. On getaway day for Tacoma, the game starts at 11:35 a.m.