Silver Sox pound out win against Chico
Appeal Sports Writer
RENO – The Reno Silver Sox hitters were as hot as the fire that lit up the night sky in the Coughlin Ranch area of the city.
Reno pounded out 15 hits, including homers by Jose Rodriguez, Ryan Brown, and Kane Simmons, en route to a 11-4 win over the first-half champion Chico Outlaws Tuesday night at Peccole Park.
The loss evened Reno’s record at 18-18, the first time the team has been at .500 since June 10 when the team split its first four games. Reno, which made just one error, has won four straight and seven of its last nine.
“Our offense is definitely coming around one through nine,” Reno manager Les Lancaster said. “We got some young kids that have come in and fit in well with the veterans. It has to be that way. Hopefully it will continue the next few games.”
Rodriguez and Brown swung the most productive bats. Rodriguez, who was 6-for-45 in his last 10 games, went 3-for-4 and drove in three runs and scored three times. Brown, who has been solid since joining the team, went 3-for-5 with three RBI and three runs scored.
“Jose has been struggling,” Lancaster said. “He hit a few balls right at people (in recent games). Hopefully this was a breakout game for him and he gets back on track.”
With injuries to Bub Madrid and Chuck Sindlinger, Rodriguez got to stay in the line-up. Sometimes that hurts and sometimes it helps.
“I guess this helped me swing my way out of it,” Rodriguez said. “I’ve had a tough time. There were a couple of things I was doing wrong. I couldn’t find the middle. I was either out in front or behind the ball. Tonight, I just tried to go up the middle.”
Chico opened up a 2-0 lead on Matt Parris and the Silver Sox in the top of the third, but Reno roared back with four runs in the bottom of the inning off Chico starter/loser Tyler Pearson.
Joe Melton doubled off the fence, moved to third on Victor Hall’s sacrifice bunt and scored on a wild pitch. Juan Senreiso singled, Rodriguez walked and both scored on Brown’s towering homer to center on a 3-2 pitch.
Reno built the lead to 8-2 in the fifth, scoring four runs after two outs.
Hall led off with a double and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Ryan Kowalski. Rodriguez followed with his seventh homer of the year to make it 6-2. After Brown singled, Simmons slammed his league-leading ninth homer of the season for an 8-2 lead.
Simmons is hitting .409 for the season and .463 in his last 10 games.
“He (Simmons) looks bad on one pitch and then hits a homer,” Lancaster said. “You stick him in the line-up and see what he can do.”
Reno added three more in the seventh on a run-scoring single by Rodriguez and a two-run double by Sam Walker, who has driven in 10 runs in his eight games with Reno.
Winning pitcher Matt Parris, who improved to 4-5, loved the support. The right-hander struggled a bit with his control, walking five and hitting two batters. He held the Outlaws’ offense to just three hits over seven innings.
“He had trouble with a few hitters when he fell behind in the count,” Lancaster said. “He was able to pitch out of it (most of the time).”
Chico took a 2-0 lead in the third when Parris walked two and hit a batter. In the sixth, he hit a batter and gave up a two-run homer to Jacob Ferris.
“I did well when I had good location, but that was coming and going,” Parris said. “I was getting behind in the count. If I get control of the zone, I’ll be doing pretty well.”
Chico scored in just two of the seven innings Parris worked, and after allowing a hit in the first, he allowed just two over the next six innings. He retired 11 of the last 14 batters he faced.
Relievers Shawn Balteff and Josh Evans worked a hitless inning apiece.
Notes: The Sox activated Madrid (hamstring) and he’s expected to be in the starting line-up today. Madrid is hitting .350 … Eric Thomas, who throws in the mid-90s, is expected to be activated today. Lancaster expects to use him in short relief … Reno’s James Johnson (0-2, 4.70) opposes Chico’s Derrick Loop (5-2, 4.85) in the second game of the series tonight at 7… Chico manager Mark Parent wasn’t in uniform, sitting out the game as part of a two-game suspension for allegedly bumping umpire Billy Hayes in a recent game… Mike Done, starting second baseman and a player-coach has been put on the inactive list to attend to some personal business… The first half of the season ends with tonight’s game, but Reno has built up some momentum heading into the second half.