Aces accelerating down the stretch, closing in on first postseason appearance since 2014
It’s on to Albuquerque.
Reno wrapped up a four-game road sweep of Las Vegas on Sunday and now has eight straight against Albuquerque to close the regular season. Four on the road and the final four at Greater Nevada Field starting Friday night.
The Aces are a season-high 20 games over .500 and sit three games ahead of the Grizzlies for first place in the Pacific Northern division. There are no wild card berths in the Triple-A playoffs, so Reno will have to hang on to advance to the postseason for the first time since 2014. And they may have to do so with several new names on the roster.
Major League teams can expand their rosters to 40 players on Friday and LHP Anthony Banda, RHP Silvino Bracho, RHP J.J. Hoover, LHP Matt Koch, RHP Jimmie Sherfy, RHP Braden Shipley, C John Ryan Murphy, SS Jack Reinheimer, 2B Ildemaro Vargas, as well as OF Socrates Brito, could all be called up for the final home games of the regular season. All are on the 40-man roster.
Reno is 5-3 against Albuquerque, which has lost seven of its last 10, although the teams have not played each other since April.
Last week: 5-1
Upcoming Schedule (August 28 – September 3)
August 28: AWAY at Albuquerque 5:35 p.m.
August 29: AWAY at Albuquerque 5:35 p.m.
August 30: AWAY at Albuquerque 5:35 p.m.
August 31: AWAY at Albuquerque 5:35 p.m.
September 1: HOME vs Albuquerque 7:05 p.m.
September 2: HOME vs Albuquerque 7:05 p.m.
September 3: HOME vs Albuquerque 6:05 p.m.
-SS Nick Ahmed, 27, was assigned to Reno for a Major League rehab assignment. Ahmed was sent to the disabled list on June 27 when he was hit by a 99-mile-per-hour fastball that fractured his right hand. It was his injury that led to Ketel Marte’s promotion from Reno to Arizona. A defensive specialist, Ahmed was hitting .251 with six home runs and 21 RBIs before the injury. He played four Arizona League games before appearing in Reno’s lineup for the first time in Saturday’s 7-3 road win over Las Vegas. He went 0-for-5 with a strikeout batting in the No. 2 spot.
-RHP Braden Shipley, 25, was sent back to Reno after appearing in his fifth game of the season for the Diamondbacks. The Nevada alum threw 5.2 innings of long relief in last Sunday’s 12-5 loss at Minnesota. Shipley allowed five runs (four earned) on seven hits (three home runs) with three strikeouts and two walks. Arizona’s first-round pick in 2013 is 0-1 with a 6.35 ERA over 17 innings with the big club this year. In Reno, Shipley is 7-6 with a 5.66 ERA. He turned in one his best efforts of the year on Saturday at Las Vegas, striking out six in seven scoreless innings of two-hit baseball.
-RHP Jimmie Sherfy, 25, was sent back to Reno following his first trip to the Major Leagues. Sherfy appeared in two games and did not allow a hit in a pair of shutout innings with Arizona. He threw a scoreless bottom of the ninth last Monday against the Mets and was awarded his first Major League victory as the Diamondbacks went on to win 3-2 in the 10th inning. The Oregon product has been one of the best relievers in the entire Pacific Coast League this summer. He’s 2-1 with a 3.19 ERA and his 19 saves (in 22 opportunities) are the second most in the PCL.
Zach Borenstein. Borenstein delivered the biggest hit of the season last Tuesday night at Greater Nevada Field. Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the seventh against Fresno, Reno took its first lead of the night when Borenstein deposited a 2-2 delivery over the fence in center for a two-run shot, his 21st of the season. Reno went on to win 3-1, grabbing a two-game lead over Fresno and clinching the head-to-head tiebreaker along the way.
Las Vegas. After getting swept by Reno on Sunday, the 51s finished just 4-12 against the Aces, decidedly losing the intrastate rivalry dubbed the Silver State Diamond Challenge. The Mets’ Triple-A affiliate has the worst record in the Pacific Coast League at 52-82.
Pacific Coast League Standings
Reno Aces (ARI) 77-57
Fresno Grizzlies (HOU) 74-60
Tacoma Rainiers (SEA) 65-69
Sacramento River Cats (SF) 58-75
Salt Lake Bees (LAA) 68-66
El Paso Chihuahuas (SD) 67-67
Albuquerque Isotopes (COL) 63-70
Las Vegas 51s (NYM) 52-82
Colorado Springs Sky Sox (MIL) 77-53
Oklahoma City Dodgers (LAD) 69-64
Iowa Cubs (CHC) 65-67
Omaha Storm Chasers (KC) 64-70
Memphis Redbirds (STL) 86-48
Nashville Sounds (OAK) 64-68
Round Rock Express (TEX) 61-70
New Orleans Baby Cakes (MIA) 53-77
*All stats and standings are as of Sunday, August 27.