First-half slide carries over into start of second half
The Aces limped into the All-Star break with their worst 14-game stretch of the season.
They lost 8 of those games, but maintained a healthy five-game lead over Fresno atop the Pacific Northern Division. The woes continued over the weekend as the 52-game second half began.
Reno topped El Paso, 6-2, on Thursday night then proceeded to allow 26 runs over the next three games, all losses. It was the Aces’ first three-game home losing streak, and home series defeat, of the year.
The once nine-game division lead shriveled to two games as Fresno completed a four-game sweep at Tacoma, marking the Grizzlies’ 17th victory in their last 20 contests.
Reno has held the outright division lead since May 27 and is now in jeopardy of slipping into second as a brutal 12-game stretch looms. Pacific Southern leading Salt Lake comes to Greater Nevada for four games, wrapping up the eight-game home stand, then the Aces play four at American Northern leading Colorado Springs (which is a PCL-best 33-13 at home), followed with four at Oklahoma City.
Oklahoma City is in second place in the American Northern. Only five teams in the PCL have more wins than the Dodgers.
This is the most adversity the team has faced this year after sailing through the first three months of the season. The next 12 games could very well determine if this team will remain a front runner, or get buried.
Last week: 1-3
Upcoming Schedule (July 17-23)
July 17: HOME vs Salt Lake 7:05 p.m.
July 18: HOME vs Salt Lake 7:05 p.m.
July 19: HOME vs Salt Lake 7:05 p.m.
July 20: HOME vs Salt Lake 7:05 p.m.
July 21: AWAY at Colorado Springs 6 p.m.
July 22: AWAY at Colorado Springs 5 p.m.
July 23: AWAY at Colorado Springs 12:30 p.m.Notable Moves
-RHP Kaleb Fleck, 28, was activated off the disabled list. Fleck has not pitched in a game in a month, last throwing one scoreless inning in an 8-0 home win on June 17 against Las Vegas at Greater Nevada Field. Fleck is 1-2 with a 4.33 ERA over 35.1 innings for the Aces this year. He’s struck out 38 batters and only walked 11. He’s holding opponents to a .248 batting average.
-LHP Daniel Gibson, 25, was placed on the seven-day disabled list. Gibson has appeared in 11 games for the Aces since getting promoted from Double-A Jackson in early June. The seventh-round pick in the 2013 draft has allowed 14 runs (13 earned) on 21 hits in 12.2 innings out of the bullpen (9.24 ERA). Control has been one of his largest issues. He’s walked 15 batters and struck out only six. Before his promotion, Gibson was lights out in Jackson. He allowed just one earned run over 22.1 innings (0.40 ERA) with three saves in three opportunities. The Southpaw struck out 19 and only walked five.
-CF Socrates Brito, 24, was placed on the seven-day disabled list. Brito has 58 games of Major League experience (all with Arizona), but has been with Reno all season. He’s batting .312 with two home runs and 20 RBIs in 141 at bats.
Oswaldo Arcia. Reno’s corner outfielder belted a 440-foot home run halfway up the batter’s eye in dead center at Greater Nevada Field in Saturday’s extra-inning loss. The towering blast gave the 26-year-old 21 for the season, just one back of teammate Christian Walker for tops in the Pacific Coast League.
Weekend pitching. After winning the first game of the most recent four-game series with El Paso on Thursday night, the Aces staff allowed 26 runs over the following three days – all losses. The Chihuahuas scored the 26 runs on 40 hits, nine of which landed beyond the outfield fence.
Pacific Coast League Standings
Reno Aces (ARI) 55-39
Fresno Grizzlies (HOU) 53-41
Tacoma Rainiers (SEA) 46-47
Sacramento River Cats (SF) 38-55
Salt Lake Bees (LAA) 50-44
Albuquerque Isotopes (COL) 47-46
El Paso Chihuahuas (SD) 47-47
Las Vegas 51s (NYM) 36-58
Colorado Springs Sky Sox (MIL) 57-34
Oklahoma City Dodgers (LAD) 50-43
Iowa Cubs (CHC) 42-50
Omaha Storm Chasers (KC) 42-50
Memphis Redbirds (STL) 60-33
Nashville Sounds (OAK) 44-50
Round Rock Express (TEX) 41-53
New Orleans Baby Cakes (MIA) 38-56
*All stats and standings are as of Sunday, July 16.