RENO — Carlos Rivero belted his career-high 17th home run, and Matt Koch tossed six shutout innings as the Reno Aces beat the Sacramento River Cats, 6-1, on Monday night at Raley Field. Rivero totaled four RBI in the victory to set a season high, marking the 11th four-plus RBI game of his career and first since June 17, 2014.
Rivero’s line-drive blast to left field staked the Aces (74-63) and Koch to a 2-0 lead in the second. Two innings later, three consecutive singles by Chris Herrmann, Zach Borenstein and Rivero made it 3-0. Jack Reinheimer then added a run-scoring fielder’s choice, pushing Reno’s advantage to four.
A pair of walks issued by rehabbing right-hander Chris Heston set up the Aces for another two runs in the fifth. With two down, Rivero dumped a single into left to score Mitch Haniger, and Reinheimer followed with a single up the middle, bringing home Kyle Jensen from third.
Sacramento (65-72) put runners on in five of their six innings against Koch, but the 25-year-old prevented damage with a season-high seven strikeouts.
The River Cats broke through against Aces reliever Drew Muren in the eighth, plating their lone run on a groundout off the bat of Travis Ishikawa.
Koch (4-2) won his fourth straight decision after scattering six singles and one walk over six frames. He improved to 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA in three road starts. Heston (2-9) dropped to 0-4 all-time against Reno in six starts, yielding six earned runs on seven hits and three walks with two strikeouts over 4 2/3 innings.
The Aces and River Cats continue their four-game set with game two on Tuesday night. First pitch from Raley Field is set for 7:05 p.m. PT. Reno has not yet named a starter, while Sacramento will send righty Chris Stratton (11-6, 4.27) to the mound.
First baseman/outfielder Kyle Jensen has been named to the All-PCL Team, the Pacific Coast League announced Monday.
Jensen, 28, was selected to the team as the first baseman. In 129 games, Jensen is hitting .295 (143-for-485) with 120 RBI, 76 runs scored, 30 home runs, two triples, 34 doubles, a .559 slugging percentage and a .911 OPS. He leads all of professional baseball in RBI, and paces all Triple-A players in home runs while standing fourth in slugging, tied for fifth in doubles and eighth in OPS.
Jensen’s RBI total is the most in a single season by a Diamondbacks Triple-A player, and his home-run total is currently tied with Ernie Young (1999) for Arizona’s Triple-A best. In Aces history, the California native’s current slugging clip would rank third all-time for a single season, while his current OPS would be eighth best and his doubles total would stand ninth.
The Aces now have had a representative on the All-PCL Team in seven of the club’s eight seasons. Jensen was named a midseason PCL All-Star and represented the Aces in Charlotte, N.C. He also participated in the Triple-A Home Run Derby and finished as the runner-up.