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Aces close gap to third to one game
Ryan Dale drives in go-ahead run in the eighth
01/05/2018 5:53 AM ET
Ryan Dale drove in the go-ahead run for Melbourne in the eighth inning (C) SMP IMAGES/ABL MEDIA
Ryan Dale drove in the go-ahead run for Melbourne in the eighth inning (C) SMP IMAGES/ABL MEDIA (Ben Southall)

Ryan Dale drove in the go-ahead run in the eighth as Melbourne drew level with Canberra in their crucial four-game series on Friday night.

Dale broke a 5-5 tie with an RBI-double as the Aces (12-13) prevailed 7-5 at Melbourne Ballpark, closing the gap to the third-ranked Cavs (13-12) to just one game.

Darryl George added to Melbourne's lead, scoring Dale with a single off Canberra reliever Tayler Saucedo.

Sam Street successfully closed out the game for the Aces, throwing two scoreless innings and striking out three.

Former Cav Michael Crouse had given Melbourne the lead with a three-run shot off Canberra starter Frank Gailey in the fifth.

But Buddy Reed went deep for the second time in the contest to score Gabriel Arias (single) and tie the ballgame in the seventh.

Reed opened the scoring in the first with a leadoff home run against Aces' starter Josh Tols.

George, who went 3-for-5, hit back with a leadoff bomb for Melbourne before Cameron Warner reinstated the Cavs' lead with his first ABL home run.

David Kandilas also took Tols deep, with his second home run in as many nights, as the away team took a 3-1 lead in the fourth.

Tols worked 5 1/3 innings, giving up three runs on six hits and fanning five.

Gailey lasted five innings for Canberra, striking out six and giving up five runs on four hits and four walks.

The series continues at 6.30pm local time on Saturday.

This story was not subject to the approval of the Australian Baseball League or its clubs.