Jensen drives in 5 in Aces’ win
Like many of his Reno Aces teammates, Kyle Jensen is swinging a hot bat.
Jensen went 2-for-4 and drove in five runs with a two-run single, two-run homer and sacrifice fly to back the pitching of Braden Shipley and lead the Aces to an 11-2 win over the Salt Lake Bees and Tim Lincecum before a crowd of 10,185 Tuesday afternoon at Greater Nevada Field.
It was the end of a successful homestand for Jensen, who drove in 18 runs in eight games, second to Pete O’Brien, who drove in 20.
Two of the RBI came off two-time Cy Young Award winner Lincecum, who was making his second comeback start after signing with the Angels.
“It was pretty awesome,” Jensen said. “I grew up in the Bay Area, and I got a chance to see him pitch quite a bit.”
After an error and two Lincecum walks in the first loaded the bases, Jensen followed with a two-run single. An error and run-scoring single by Zach Borenstein made it 4-0 after one.
“Our team is playing well,” Jensen said. “We got another ‘W.’ A lot of guys are hitting the ball well, our pitchers are throwing well and the bullpen has pitched well.”
Jensen added a two-run homer off A.J. Achter to make it 6-2 in the sixth, and the Aces added four in the seventh off reliever David Carpenter, who retired just one batter before departing. O’Brien doubled home the last run of the game in the eighth.
The first-inning outburst was more than enough for Shipley, who improved to 4-3. He threw four shutout innings before allowing single runs in the fifth and sixth. The latter run came on a solo homer by Kaleb Cowart.
Shipley, who retired 11 of 12 after a lead-off single in the first, said he didn’t have his best stuff, but managed to get through six innings anyway.
“I have to be happy, I got a win,” Shipley said. “I didn’t have good stuff. As a starter you go into every start hoping you have all of your pitches. If you don’t, that’s another thing you have to worry about.
“From last year to this year that is one of the things I’ve improved on. The homer I gave up in the sixth was on a pitch I probably shouldn’t have thrown. Overall, I threw pretty well.”
Pitching coach Gil Heredia agreed. He also thought Shipley deserves consideration for a promotion.
“I would hope so, at least in September (when rosters expand),” Heredia said. “He deserves a chance. He is very patient.”