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Tyler Gilbert pitches the Reno Aces to victory

Tyler Gilbert pitches the Reno Aces to victory
Tyler Gilbert. (Courtesy: MiLB)

Ben Wiley - BVM Sports Intern Writer

Sacramento, Calif. (BVM) — Stellar performances by left-handed starting pitcher Tyler Gilbert and outfielder Jake McCarthy propelled the Reno Aces to a 6-5 victory in game one of their six-game series against the Sacramento River Cats.

Gilbert took the mound on July 30 hoping to continue his recent run of strong performances since the Aces moved him into their starting rotation a few weeks ago. Both Gilbert and River Cats starting pitcher Tyler Beede were sharp early, keeping the game scoreless through the first three innings. Gilbert was especially dominant, striking out the first four hitters he faced and fanning six through the first four innings. Finally, in the fourth inning, Aces left-fielder Henry Ramos broke the scoreless tie by launching a solo home run to right field off of Beede.

The Aces added on in the fifth and sixth innings, scoring one time each inning via RBI singles by first baseman Seth Beer and McCarthy. Serving as the Aces’ offensive spark plug from the leadoff position in the lineup, McCarthy got a careerhigh five hits in six at-bats. He proceeded to steal second the first three times he reached base, tying his career-best three steals in one game.

Meanwhile, Gilbert continued to keep a powerful River Cats lineup off the board until the sixth inning. In his sixth and final inning, he got into some trouble, eventually giving up an RBI single to Rivercats’ outfielder and San Francisco Giants top prospect Heliot Ramos, the younger brother of Henry Ramos. However, Gilbert worked out of the jam, getting the next hitter to ground out to end the inning and his outing. He finished with a career-high 10 strikeouts, the most strikeouts in a game for Aces starters so far this season, and his six innings pitched matched his season high. 

With Gilbert out of the game, the River Cats took advantage, scoring one run in the seventh inning and then getting home runs by top Giants’ prospect catcher Joey Bart and left fielder Jason Krizan in the eighth inning off of Aces’ reliever Shane Carle.

Yet, that late offensive outburst still left them trailing because the Aces did a good job of adding on to their lead, getting a two-run home run by second baseman Christian Lopes in their half of the seventh inning and another run in the eighth inning to put them up 6-2.

Brandyn Sittinger closed out the victory for the Aces coming in with the Rivercats having cut the deficit to one in the eighth inning. He managed to close the game, keeping his team’s one-run lead intact. Gilbert improved his record to 5-2 with a 3.44 earned run average (ERA). Sittinger picked up his first save, and the Aces improved their divisional best record to 46-27.