Jake Barrett’s struggles continued Saturday night.
The Reno Aces’ closer allowed four runs in the eighth inning as the Aces lost to the Fresno Grizzlies 11-7 in front of a crowd of 10,846 at Chukchansi Park. The Aces have now lost four games in a row to fall to 25-31 on the season, 7.5 games behind first-place Fresno (32-23) in the Pacific Coast League’s Pacific Northern Division.
The 23-year-old Barrett is going through a rough stretch out of the Aces’ bullpen. The 6-foot-3 right-hander, who has 11 saves this season, has allowed 10 hits, five walks and seven earned runs over four innings in his last four appearances. Over his last seven games and seven innings he has allowed 16 hits, five walks and 10 earned runs. Barret had an earned run average of 1.69 over his first 15 games but his ERA has since ballooned to 5.09.
Barrett allowed singles to Tyler Heineman, Carlos Correa and L.J. Hoes and walked Alex Presley and Jon Singleton after entering the game in the eighth inning with the score tied 7-7. Correa’s single broke the tie and Hoes’ hit brought home two more runs.
The Aces led 7-3 in the top of the sixth inning after battering Grizzlies starter Asher Wojciechowski for seven runs and 10 hits in 5.1 innings.
Nick Evans hit a two-run homer — his eighth of the season — as the Aces took a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Evans finished with three hits on Saturday and is now hitting .303.
Fresno took a 3-2 lead after three innings as Heineman singled home a run in the second inning against Aces starter Allen Webster and Domingo Santana drove in two with a double in the third. The Aces, though, scored four runs in the fifth to take a 6-3 lead. Evans drove in his 50th run of the year with a single and Jamie Romak had a two-run double. Nick Buss also drove in a run with a ground out as Blake Lalli and Danny Worth opened the inning with singles. The Aces stretched their lead to 7-3 in the sixth as Garrett Weber and Worth hit doubles.
Fresno, however, jumped back into the game with four runs in the sixth off Webster and reliever Dan Runzler. The four runs came on singles by Santana, Matt Dominguez, Heinemen, Joe Sclafanio ad Alex Preseley as well as a successful squeeze bunt by Carlos Correa and a sacrifice fly by Matt Duffy.
Matt Stites didn’t allow a hit or a run in two innings of relief for the Aces.
Fresno relievers Tyson Perez, Jason Stoffel and Kevin Chapman combined to blank the Aces over the final 3.2 innings on just one hit with four strikeouts to preserve the victory.
Danny Dorn had two hits for the Aces and is now hitting .426. Lalli and Worth also had two hits.
Heinemena had three hits for Fresno and is now hitting .379. Correa, Hoes, Santana and Sclafani each had two hits as the Grizzlies had 14 hits.