Reno Aces Game Information: Sacramento River Cats (36-46) at Reno Aces (38-44)

Game notes: July 4 vs. SAC

Lineups: 7-4-15, also can be found on Twitter (@RenoAces_PR) and renoaces.com

Game #83: Sacramento River Cats (36-46) at Reno Aces (38-44)
Pitching Matchup: RHP Clayton Blackburn (2-3, 4.22) vs. RHP Gabriel Arias (4-1, 3.61)
Game Time: 6:35 PM PST
Radio: KPLY 630 AM
TV: MiLB TV

At the Ballpark

Gates open at 5:05 p.m.
Biggest & only fireworks show in Reno
National Anthem performed by Boone and God Bless America performed by The Whiskey Heroes
Pre-game BBQ special in Duffy’s Ale House for $15
$5 drink specials in the Freight House District
Pre-game concert in the Freight House District with Nashville recording artist, Boone
Freight House District post-game concert with The Whiskey Heroes
Freight House District gates open at 4:00 p.m.
Kids Run the Bases presented by KTVN Channel 2 News

From the Notes

You Guys Look Familiar: Sacramento has three players on their active roster who have played for the Aces in the last year-and-a-half. Infielders Ronny Cedeno (2014) and Kevin Frandsen (2015), as well as outfielder Brett Jackson (2014), are the three former Aces now donning a River Cats uniform.

Romak’s Torrid Stretch: Infielder Jamie Romak is currently riding a 7-game hitting streak, and he’s also driven in at least one RBI in 6 consecutive games and 8 of the last 9. Romak has homered in 3 of the last 5 games, including a 2-homer game vs. Fresno on June 29.

What’s the word around Reno?

Arizona Sports Hub (@SportsHubAZ)
Brandon Drury and Nick Buss tore it up for the Reno @Aces tonight in a great comeback win. Hit a combined 7-for-10 with two doubles #Dbacks

Chris Jackson (@TopesWriter)
Jamie Romak has evolved from old friend to #Topes killer. Leads off T4th w/ mammoth HR to R-CF.

The Beat Goes On

The 25-foot walk for a player from the on-deck circle to the batter’s box is more than just a stroll in the park. It’s a time to focus, envision the approach in the upcoming at-bat and get locked in.

And lyrics to their – or their friends’ or families’ – favorite songs, only help that cause.

For Aces outfielder Trayvon Robinson, it’s an integral aspect to his game. He and his friends started listening to Calvin Harris and Afrojack this past offseason, but it was DJ Snake & AlunaGeorge’s “You Know You Like It” which caught their attention. Little be told, Robinson decided it would be his 2015 walk-up song.

“When the bass drops in that song, that’s when I zone in,” said Robinson. “That’s when I know it’s my time.”

For Aces shortstop Cody Ransom, at age 39, selecting walk-up music is a thing of the past. Instead, the former big leaguer lets his kids choose his walk-up songs, not because their song choice may always be the best option, but because they’re the reason he still plays the game today.

And they get a great amount of enjoyment from it.

“Every time I walk up to the plate, and my song comes on, I look for my kids in the stands,” said a smiling Ransom.

Over the last few years, Cody Ransom has let his kids choose his walk-up music. (Photo by: David Calvert/Reno Aces)

Over the last few years, Cody Ransom has let his kids choose his walk-up music. (Photo by: David Calvert/Reno Aces)

It doesn’t take the veteran very long to pick out his kids from the rest in attendance.

“They’re pretty easy to find because they’re always dancing,” joked Ransom.

Ransom, a member of the Aces in 2011 and 2012 as well, has one of the more noticeable walk-up songs on the Aces’ squad, with “Young Forever” by Jay-Z as his kids’ most recent choice. Now in his 19th year of professional baseball, the lyrics paint Ransom’s baseball journey.

At Aces Ballpark, fans will notice a variety of songs played over the course of the game, with no pair of teammates having the same walk-up song. Country, pop, hip-hop and rock all blare through the stadium speakers with each new batter who digs in at the dish.

Playing on the road, however, is another story.

Home-field advantage comes into play certainly with the familiarity of how the field surface plays and where the ball carries best. But walk-up music for the visitors, most often humorous, only adds to the unfriendly confines of being away from home.

Robinson, who spent time in the Majors with the Seattle Mariners in 2011 and 2012, heard one song and one song only when he was on the road – Simon & Garfunkel’s “Mrs. Robinson.”

“I try to block it [the song] out,” laughed Robinson, “but it’s part of being on the road, so I have a good time with it.”

Whether it be home or away, walk-up music, both to the plate and coming in from the bullpen, has become a part of the game. For the fans, it gives the player an identity, meaning a quick trip to the concession stands could result in missing an at-bat, but they’ll at least know who’s coming up.

Because of the lyrics.

Reno Aces Game Information: Fresno Grizzlies (44-33) at Reno Aces (36-41)

Game notes: June 29 vs. FRE

Lineups: 6-29-15, also can be found on Twitter (@RenoAces_PR) and renoaces.com

Game #78: Fresno Grizzlies (44-33) at Reno Aces (36-41)
Pitching Matchup: LHP Luis Cruz (4-2, 4.06) vs. RHP Edgar Garcia (1-1, 5.51)
Game Time: 7:05 PM PST
Radio: KPLY 630 AM
TV: MiLB TV

At the Ballpark

  • Gates open at 6:05 p.m.
  • Dog Days of Summer presented by Scraps Dog Company
  • Dollar Menu Monday presented by Great Basin Federal Credit Union – $1 Hot Dogs (all game) & Ribs (while supplies last)

From the Notes

Double Machines: Nick Evans and Jamie Romak both rank among league leaders for most doubles. Romak is currently tied for second with Albuquerque’s Matt McBride at 24, and Evans’ 23 is tied for fourth with Memphis’ Stephen Piscotty. Las Vegas’ Alex Castellanos leads the pack at 25.

Broken Bats: Two of Reno’s best offensive players are currently on the disabled list. Shortstop Danny Worth — who still leads the PCL with a .365 average — has been out since June 15 and has missed each of the last 14 games. Mike Freeman was placed on the DL as well today. He’s hitting .330, good for fifth-best in the PCL.

By the Numbers – 1.56: Over the last ten games, Reno’s starters have posted nine quality starts. Coincidentally, the Aces are 8-2 in their last ten affairs. The collective ERA of the starters during the ten-game stretch is an impressive 1.56 (11 ER in 63 1/3 IP).

What’s the word around Reno?

Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks)
VIDEO: Jake Lamb capped off yesterday’s power display for the #Dbacks with this two-run blast: http://atmlb.com/1U0S4KI 

James Collier (@CollierSZLive)
Back-to-back quality outings for @Aces @A_Blair19 provides him with his 2nd win in AAA as the Aces defeat @FresnoGrizzlies 5-2.

Reno Aces Game Information: Fresno Grizzlies (44-32) at Reno Aces (35-41)

Game notes: June 28 vs. FRE

Lineups: 6-28-15, also can be found on Twitter (@RenoAces_PR) and renoaces.com

Game #77: Fresno Grizzlies (44-32) at Reno Aces (35-41)
Pitching Matchup: RHP Asher Wojciechowski (5-0, 3.54) vs. RHP Aaron Blair (1-1, 7.59)
Game Time: 1:05 PM PST
Radio: KPLY 630 AM
TV: My 21/MiLB TV

At the Ballpark

  • Gates open at 12:05 p.m.
  • Circus Circus Family Sunday featuring Baseball Bingo
  • Kids Eat Free for the first 500 kids (12 and under) presented by Sam’s Club, Kimmie Candy Company & 106.9 MORE FM
  • Kids Run the Bases presented by KTVN Channel 2 News

From the Notes

Complete-Game Shutout: Reno’s Gabriel Arias delivered the fifth complete-game shutout in Aces’ history yesterday in game one of the doubleheader against Fresno. Andrew Chafin was the last to do so, throwing a nine-inning shutout in the playoffs on September 4 of last year at Las Vegas. Billy Buckner (7/31/09 vs. TUC), Kevin Mulvey (8/25/11 @ TUC) and Zeke Spruill (6/9/13 vs. CSP) are the three other pitchers to throw complete-game shutouts.

Doubleheader History: For the fifth time in franchise history yesterday, the Aces swept both games of a doubleheader. The Aces are 18-18 all-time in doubleheader affairs. They’ve been swept five times and have split the eight other doubleheaders.

What’s the word around Reno?

Aces Communications (@RenoAces_PR)
Did you miss the @Aces doubleheader sweep today? We got you covered here: Game 1: http://www.milb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20150627&content_id=133279184&fext=.jsp&vkey=recap&sid=t2310 … Game 2: http://www.milb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20150627&content_id=133347414&fext=.jsp&vkey=recap&sid=t2310 …

Reno Aces Game Information: Fresno Grizzlies (44-30) at Reno Aces (33-41)

Game notes: June 27 vs. FRE

Game 1 Lineup: 6-27-15, also can be found on Twitter (@RenoAces_PR) and renoaces.com

Game #75/76: Fresno Grizzlies (44-30) at Reno Aces (33-41)
G1 Pitching Matchup: RHP Mark Appel (0-0, -.–) vs. RHP Gabriel Arias (3-1, 4.33)
G2 Pitching Matchup: RHP Dan Straily (6-5, 4.14) vs. LHP Justin Marks (4-6, 5.68)
G1: 1:05 PM PST
G2: 7:05 PM PST
Radio: KPLY 630 AM
TV: MiLB TV

At the Ballpark

Game 1 of doubleheader vs. Fresno – 1:05 p.m.

  • Gates open at 12:05 p.m.
  • Super Saturday presented by KOLO 8 News Now
  • Bully’s Sports Bar Friends & Family Weekend presented by Reno News & Review – right field reserved ticket, Bully’s wings voucher and a free Aces hat for just $17. This deal is not available on the day of the game and needs to be purchased in advance. Wings vouchers can be redeemed at any of the seven Bully’s locations in the area

Game 2 of doubleheader vs. Fresno – 7:05 p.m.

  • Gates open at 6:05 p.m.
  • Super Saturday presented by KOLO 8 News Now
  • Nick Ahmed Bobblehead Giveaway presented by United Federal Credit Union available for the first 1,000 fans through the Rotunda Entrance
  • Bully’s Sports Bar Friends & Family Weekend presented by Reno News & Review – right field reserved ticket, Bully’s wings voucher and a free Aces hat for just $17. This deal is not available on the day of the game and needs to be purchased in advance. Wings vouchers can be redeemed at any of the seven Bully’s locations in the area
  • Kids Run the Bases presented by KTVN Channel 2 News

From the Notes

The Grizzlies have been a Bear: The Aces are just 2-7 against Fresno in 2015, losing each of the first two series they played, three-games-to-one, before last night’s series-opening defeat. In the nine games, Reno is hitting .256 and Fresno is hitting .282. The biggest difference is on the mound where Fresno pitchers have a 4.00 ERA compared to Reno’s 6.66.

Lead After 8: The Aces scored first against their opponent for the first time in ten games last night, but the ending result saw Reno on the losing end, 4-1. Reno lost for just the third time this season when having a lead after eight innings (29-3).

By the Numbers – 4: The Aces have allowed four or less runs in eight consecutive games, and Reno is 6-2 during that stretch. Offen­sively, the Aces haven’t scored more than six runs in any of those contests.

What’s the word around Reno?

Nick Piecoro (@nickpiecoro)
Dbacks GM Dave Stewart says Archie Bradley will get a second opinion on his lingering shoulder issues from Dr. James Andrews.

Steve Gilbert (@SteveGilbertMLB)
On rehab start for AA Mobile #Dbacks Patrick Corbin went 6 IP 2 runs (1 ER) 4 hits 2 walks 5 strikeouts. 79 pitches (50 strikes).

Reno Aces Game Information: Fresno Grizzlies (43-30) at Reno Aces (33-40)

Game notes: June 26 vs. FRE

Lineups6-26-15, also can be found on Twitter (@RenoAces_PR) and renoaces.com

Game #74: Fresno Grizzlies (43-30) at Reno Aces (33-40)
Pitching Matchup: RHP Mike Hauschild (1-1, 4.50) vs. Jhoulys Chacin (1-0, 1.29)
Time: 7:05 PM PST
Radio: KPLY 630 AM
TV: MiLB TV

At the Ballpark

  • Gates open at 6:05 p.m.
  • Saint Mary’s Fireworks Friday presented by KRNV News 4
  • Faith Night at the Freight House District
  • US Foods Food Drive – Fans will receive a raffle ticket to a drawing held during the game to win prizes such as an Aces swag bag, Pampered Chef Nourish Soup Bowls and more with donation of food item or monetary donation to the Food Bank of Northern Nevada. Raffle tickets can also be purchased for $1 each, $5 for six or $20 for an arm’s length.
  • Bully’s Sports Bar Friends & Family Weekend presented by Reno News & Review – right field reserved ticket, Bully’s wings voucher and a free Aces hat for just $17. This deal is not available on the day of the game and needs to be purchased in advance. Wings vouchers can be redeemed at any of the seven Bully’s locations in the area
  • Navy Night – Members of the U.S. Navy will be in attendance to celebrate Navy Night as the JROTC from Damonte Ranch High School presents the colors, Reno’s Lieutenant Treutlein throws out the first pitch, and young men and women from the Reno metro area take the Oath of Enlistment to serve in the United States Navy
  • Kids Run the Bases presented by KTVN Channel 2 News

From the Notes

0-0 Game: Last night was the second time in Reno Aces history when a game was 0-0 after nine innings. On August 3, 2012, Reno and New Orleans were tied 0-0 after 11 innings. The Aces got two runs in the top of the 12th inning when Ed Easley and Taylor Harbin scored on an error.

The Grizzlies have been a Bear: The Aces are just 2-6 against Fresno in 2015, losing each series they have played, three-games-to-one. In the eight games, Reno is hitting .268 and Fresno is hitting .290. The biggest difference is on the mound where Fresno pitchers have a 4.38 ERA compared to Reno’s 7.02

That’s a Trip: With a road trip in which the Aces won six of seven games, it was the best winning percentage (.857) in a single road trip in team history. The previous best was when the Aces won nine of 11 games in June of 2012 on a three-city trip (Las Vegas, Tucson and Colorado Springs).

What’s the word around Reno?

Alex Margulies (@marguliespxp)
It’s a party: @Aces Manager Phil Nevin joins the show as well as TJ Bruce and Peter O’Brien

Chris Murray (@MurrayRGJ)
UCLA coach John Savage, Reno Aces manager Phil Nevin (Bruce recruited his son) and Chris Ault all called AD Doug Knuth to stump for Bruce.

Reno Aces Game Information: Tacoma Rainiers (31-35) at Reno Aces (27-38)

Game notes: June 17 vs. TAC

Lineups6-17-15, also can be found on Twitter (@RenoAces_PR) and renoaces.com

Game #66: Tacoma Rainiers (31-35) at Reno Aces (27-38)
Pitching Matchup: RHP Justin Germano (5-2, 2.65) vs. RHP Aaron Blair (0-0, 0.00)
Time: 7:05 PM PST
Radio: KPLY 630 AM
TV: MiLB TV

At the Ballpark

  • Gates open at 6:05 p.m.
  • Senior’s Eat Free Wednesday presented by Sam’s Club – first 250 over the age of 50

From the Notes

First MLB Start: Danny Dorn has spent much of the 2015 season collecting hits for Reno, and he earned his second call to the bigs yesterday with Arizona. In Reno, he hit safely in 32 of 39 games, with 23 of the 32 being multi-hit performances. He earned his first Major League start last night in Los Angeles against the Angels, getting the nod at first base in place of Paul Goldschmidt who was the designated hitter. Dorn hit second in the lineup and finished 2-for-4 with a pair of singles, raising his MLB average to .385 (5-for-13). He hit .426 for the Aces this season.

Not-So-Average: The Aces’ Danny Worth and Mike Freeman both sit in the top five of the Pacific Coast League in batting average. Worth leads all qualifiers at .365 (69-for-189) while Freeman owns a .337 clip (68-for-202). Tacoma has two in the top seven, with Ketel Marte sitting fourth (.343, 68-for-198) and Franklin Gutierrez seventh (.329, 52-for-158).

What’s the word around Reno?

MiLB.com (@MiLB)
The #Dbacks have promoted No. 3 prospect Aaron Blair to the @Aces. The RHP makes his Triple-A debut tonight. http://atmilb.com/1IPv6Qz 

DbackNation (@RealDbackNation)
So we’re pretty excited about this @A_Blair19 kid getting the call to @Aces!

Reno Aces Game Information: Tacoma Rainiers (31-34) at Reno Aces (26-38)

Game notes: June 16 vs. TAC

Lineups6-16-15, also can be found on Twitter (@RenoAces_PR) and renoaces.com

Game #65: Tacoma Rainiers (31-34) at Reno Aces (26-38)
Pitching Matchup: RHP Stephen Landazuri  (0-3, 7.96) vs. RHP Parker Frazier (1-0, 3.75)
Time: 1:05 PM PST
Radio: KPLY 630 AM
TV: MiLB TV

At the Ballpark

  • Gates open at 12:05 p.m.
  • Two-for-$22 Tuesday presented by KTVN Channel 2 News – 2 general admission tickets, 2 hot dogs and 2 small sodas for $22

From the Notes

Dan the Man: Danny Dorn has spent much of the 2015 season collecting hits. He has hit safely in 32 of 39 games. Since returning from the Diamondbacks on May 12, Dorn is hitting .384 (43-for-112) with 24 runs, 17 RBI, 10 doubles, 2 home runs and 1 triple in 29 games.

Mighty Mike: After a blistering month of May in which he hit .365 (35-for-96), the Aces’ Mike Freeman has continued to swing a hot bat in June. In 13 games in the current month, Freeman is hitting .347 (17-for-49) with 4 runs, 3 RBI, 5 doubles and 2 walks.

What’s the word around Reno?

Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks)
#Dbacks place Ender Inciarte on the 15-day DL with a strained right hamstring and recall outfielder Danny Dorn from the Triple-A Reno @Aces.

Reno Aces Game Information: Tacoma Rainiers (30-34) at Reno Aces (26-37)

Game notes: June 15 vs. TAC

Lineups6-15-15, also can be found on Twitter (@RenoAces_PR) and renoaces.com

Game #64: Tacoma Rainiers (30-34) at Reno Aces (26-37)
Pitching Matchup: RHP Logan Bawcom (0-1, 2.48) vs. RHP Edgar Garcia (1-0, 3.75)
Time: 7:05 PM PST
Radio: KPLY 630 AM
TV: MiLB TV

At the Ballpark

  • Gates open at 6:05 p.m.
  • Dollar Menu Monday presented by Great Basin Federal Credit Union – $1 Hot Dogs (all game) & Ribs (while supplies last)

From the Notes

June Swoon: The Aces own just a 2-11 record in the month of June. Offensively, Reno is averaging 5.5 runs per game, but the pitching staff has struggled mightily. The Aces are allowing 7.2 runs per contest with the staff having a collective 6.77 ERA (84 ER in 111 2/3 IP).

Evans in the Hunt: Fresno’s Jon Singleton and the Aces’ Nick Evans continue to jockey back-and-forth for the PCL RBI lead. Singleton has 59 and Evans has 55 going into Monday’s games. Evans is also among league leaders in doubles (20, 3rd), hits (68, T-7th) and total bases (112, T-6th).

Owning on Offense: The Aces rank in the top four of many major offensive categories in the Pacific Coast League. The list includes: batting average (.292, 1st), hits (640, 1st), OPS (.793, 1st), slugging percentage (.442, 2nd), doubles (140, 2nd), on-base percentage (.349, 4th), RBI (310, 4th) and runs scored (326, 4th).

What’s the word around Reno?

Linda (@SoyLattes_andRP)
Reno Aces @aces at home Monday night against Tacoma. Let’s show some support and love; it was a rough road trip. Great weather on tap.

Jim Bowden (@JimBowden_ESPN)
Possible Padres Managerial candidates: Ron Washington, Dusty Baker, Ron Gardenhire, Eric Wedge, Alex Cora, Mike Redmond, Phil Nevin #Padres

The Hitting Mentor

Two members of the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Baseball Operations Staff played an integral part in the hiring of Aces hitting coach Greg Gross.

And fortunately for the D-backs and Aces, it was a move that has paid dividends.

Mike Bell, the D-backs’ Director of Player Development, and Bob Gebhard, the D-backs’ Vice President and Special Assistant to General Manager Dave Stewart, knew of Gross from his playing days as well as his success found in the Philadelphia Phillies’ coaching ranks.

In 2013, Bell and Gebhard brought Gross aboard, assigning him as the D-backs’ Triple-A hitting coach.

“Being in Reno and spending the summer in this part of the country has been great,” said Gross who resides in Philadelphia during the offseason.

Rewind 22 years, however, to find that coaching wasn’t on the mind of Gross.

Gross - in his third season of coaching with the Aces - is, to this date, one of MLB's greatest pinch-hitters of all-time.

Gross – in his third season of coaching with the Aces – is, to this date, one of MLB’s greatest pinch-hitters of all-time.

A release from the San Diego Padres after Spring Training in 1991 knocked one of MLB’s greatest pinch-hitters of all-time off his feet.

“After getting let go by the Padres in 1991, I went home and worked,” said Gross. “But I thought I could still play.”

To date, Gross ranks fifth in MLB history for most pinch-hits (143), and his 117 pinch-hit base knocks are the most ever by a Phillies player. Over his 17 Major League seasons, never once did the left-handed-hitting utilityman strike out more than he walked. His keen eye at the plate was second to none. To top it off, Gross won a World Series ring with the Phillies in 1980.

Those numbers and accomplishments played a role in Gross’ idea that his playing days were not over.

“That was my job,” said Gross with a smile. “I wasn’t going to hit the ball out of the ballpark, but I learned early that getting on base, scoring runs and playing good defense was going to get me there (the Majors) and keep me there.”

In regards to the World Series Championship, Gross fondly remembered the parade on Broad Street in Philadelphia, recalling the moment like it was yesterday.

“When you’re playing and in the moment, you don’t really realize the impact you have on the fans,” Gross gleamed. It wasn’t until one million fans lined Broad Street when it hit him.

“One million people…and not a single person was in a bad mood.”

A pair of current Aces, Mike Freeman and Danny Dorn, feel fortunate to have one of the great baseball minds guiding them on a daily basis. While he was a fine Major Leaguer and proven coach – having been a Phillies bench coach in 2001 and hitting coach from 2010 to 2012 – it’s Gross’ soft-spoken approach they like most.

“He has a great ability to look at a swing and give little subtle words of advice,” said Freeman. “It’s never a big overhaul mechanically; it’s more about the approach.”

Aces hitting coach Greg Gross said he'll throw batting practice for as long as his arm will allow it.

Aces hitting coach Greg Gross said he’ll throw batting practice for as long as his arm will allow it.

“He has a very professional perspective on the game of hitting and the game of baseball,” Freeman continued.

When asked about Gross’ demeanor in the clubhouse, Dorn expressed that while Gross is soft-spoken, he’s always available to the players.

“He’s got so much knowledge, you go to him and ask him for stuff,” said Dorn, now in his second year with the Aces and Gross. “He’s an open book and he’ll help you in any way he can.”

And when you get him talking, look out.

“A quick two-minute conversation can turn into a half-hour before you know it,” Dorn joked.

The player-to-coach relationship Gross possesses was picked up during his days on the diamond.

He didn’t prefer coaches who said “try this” or “try that” after a 0-for-4 night at the plate or a week-long slump. Instead, he liked those who suggested ideas only when noticeable changes were made at the plate, whether it be expanding the zone or altering a batting stance.

“If they are swinging at pitches in what I call their hot zone, then I’m happy, and nothing needs to be said,” said Gross.

Since joining Reno in 2013, Gross’ Aces have never finished lower than sixth in the Pacific Coast League in batting average, runs or hits. Those numbers are holding true again this season as Reno is first in the league in average (.291) and hits (597), and fourth in runs scored (306) as of June 10.

“Nevin and the guys realize the kind of value GG provides,” said Freeman, “not only as a coach but as a clubhouse presence. He’s extremely respected.”

For someone who’s spent over two decades on a Major League roster either as a player or a coach, you’d expect him to get what he deserves.

And that’s nothing but respect.

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