Colorado Springs, CO - Rockies' top prospect Nolan Arenado homered in his Triple-A debut, but Reno Aces (1-0) third baseman Matt Davidson hit a two-run home run in the top of the ninth to defeat the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (0-1), 5-4 on Opening Day at Security Service Field.
Sky Sox pitcher Christian Friedrich began the game with a quick 1-2-3 inning and struck out the final two batters of the first. Friedrich continued to baffle the Aces hitters and headed into the fourth inning without allowing a runner and striking out five. The left-hander walked Mark Teahen early in the fourth, but got first baseman Kila Ka'aihue to fly out the following at-bat. Friedrich's outing ended one batter later after allowing a single to third baseman Matt Davidson.
Josh Outman, the team's only left handed reliever, came in for Friedrich and gave up a two-run double to Aces' second baseman Taylor Harbin. The following at-bat, Davidson stole third and scored on a throwing error by catcher Lars Davis.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, with the Sky Sox down 3-0, the team began to mount a rally with a leadoff single by Charlie Blackmon. DJ LeMahieu grounded out, but Ryan Wheeler singled in Blackmon to cut the score to 3-1 and bring Arenado to the plate. In only his second Triple-A at-bat, the third baseman hit a shot off the scoreboard in left-center field to tie the ball game up at three.
Outman struck out the side in the fifth to keep the game knotted up and a half-inning later Colorado Springs had two men on, but could not get a run across the plate. Aces' starter Randall Delgado did not finish the inning and ended the game having pitched 4.2 innings, giving up three runs and striking out four hitters.
The game remained scoreless until Davidson's home run in the ninth off reliever Jeff Manship (0-1).
Colorado Springs attempted to mount a rally in the bottom of the ninth when Reno reliever Evan Marshall allowed the first two men to get on base. Charlie Culberson then hit a single up the middle to score Arenado, but Tyler Colvin was thrown out attempting to score from first and the rally fizzled from there.
The two teams return to action tomorrow night at 6:35 MT and will feature righty Tyler Chatwood for the Sky Sox against the Aces' right-hander Chris Anderson.
Sox Notes: Arenado, Lars Davis and Corey Dickerson all recorded their first Triple-A hits in the game. Davis singled in the fifth and Dickerson singled in the seventh...Sky Sox pitchers combined to strikeout 12 Aces on the night (Friedrich 5, Outman 6, Manship 1)...Friedrich made his second consecutive Opening Day start with the Sky Sox.