Mark Serrano scattered four hits over seven innings as the Reno Aces defeated a tired and travel-weary Tacoma Rainiers squad by a score of 6-1 on Thursday night at Cheney Stadium in the opener of a four-game series.
“(Brandon) Maurer was a little dehydrated tonight, he tried but he just could not compete,” said Tacoma manager John Stearns of his big right-hander, who had a stint in the Mariners’ rotation to start the season before being sent down.
Maurer faced six hitters in the top of the first inning and gave up three hits, two walks, and a hit batter to account for the Aces’ four-run outburst, which would be all they needed.
The Rainiers had trouble solving the right-handed Serrano, with Carlos Triunfel’s fifth-inning solo home run providing the lone tally. The Rainiers threatened to cut into the Aces’ lead in the second inning, but left the bases as Triunfel grounded out to third to end the threat.
The Tacoma bullpen did a good job throughout the game by keeping the Rainiers close, but the offense could not come up with the clutch two-out hits when they were needed.
“All things considered, our bullpen was great,” said Stearns. “This team has done a real good job of hanging together with all the player movements between here and Seattle. I’m real proud of their effort.”
Carlos Peguero was the only Rainier to manage two hits on the night, as Serrano was in control for seven innings before giving way to Kevin Munson in the eighth and Evan Marshall in the ninth.
The series will continue through Sunday before the All-Star Break, with the Pacific Coast League All-Star Game next Wednesday night.