Late Rally Propels Las Vegas 51s to Victory in See-Saw Affair
The resilient Las Vegas 51s (37-29) saw themselves playing catch up for a time on Tuesday night, but when it was time to get down to business their lineup delivered key hits to propel the squad to their sixth straight win. The 15-hit barrage saw seven players have at least two hits for the home club in their 10-6 victory over the Salt Lake Bees.
Adam Wilk started for the Bees while Rainy Lara got the nod for Las Vegas. Both pitchers found themselves in frequent trouble and neither would play a direct role in the final outcome of contest.
The Las Vegas 51s got on the scoreboard first. In the bottom of the first, Wilfredo Tovar singled to lead off the inning, but he was tagged out after being picked off from first base. Matt Reynolds followed with a shot that cleared the wall in left-center field to make it 1-0. It was his fourth home run of the season.
In the top of the second Salt Lake tied the score against Lara. Grant Green led off with a single and two batters later moved to third on a double by Roger Kieschnick. Alfredo Marte flew out to right field to score Green and the game was knotted at one.
The 51s put two up in the bottom half of the second. Alex Castellanos beat out an infield single to begin the frame and moved to second two batters later on a base hit by Travis Taijeron. A fielder’s choice moved Castellanos to third and put Cory Vaughn at first. T.J. Rivera followed with the first of three doubles he would hit in the game, scoring Castellanos and Vaughn to make it 3-1.
In the top half of the third, Salt Lake got one of those runs back to cut the deficit in half. Gary Brown started the inning with a single, stole second and moved to third on a throwing error by the catcher. Ryan Jackson’s sacrifice fly brought Brown home and it was a one-run game.
Las Vegas did not score in the bottom half of the third, but Salt Lake plated four in the top half of the fourth to take the lead. With one out Kieschnick drilled a triple over the right fielder’s head and scored when Alfredo Marte followed with his 13th double of the season. A single by Kaleb Cowart plated Marte and Brown scored Cowart when he hit his third triple of the season to the wall in center field. That gave the Salt Lake Bees a 5-3 lead and when Alex Yarborough grounded out, scoring Brown, it was a three-run advantage for the visitors.
The three-run lead did not last long for Salt Lake. In the bottom of the fourth the Las Vegas 51s got two of those runs back. Castellanos began the inning with a single, and scored when Taijeron hit his 12th home run of the season over the center field wall to make it 6-5.
Neither team would score in the fifth, but that would be it for both starters. Wilk allowed 8 hits, 5 runs, 4 earned and struck out 4. Lara also allowed 8 hits, walked 2, and 6 runs scored against the 51s starter, 5 of which were earned. He struck out 3.
Cody Satterwhite took over for Las Vegas and kept Salt Lake from scoring. This gave his team a chance to tie the game, and that is what they did in the bottom of the seventh.
With Vinny Pestano on the mound, Rivera doubled to get things started. Tovar followed with a base hit that scored Rivera to tie the game. Reynolds was then hit by a pitch, and with Johnny Monell at the plate, Pestano uncorked a wild pitch that moved both runners into scoring position. Monell drove home both with a base hit and the 51s had their first lead since the third inning.
Frank Herrmann relieved for the Bees and retired the first two hitters he faced, but he could not keep one more run from scoring. Kirk Nieuwenhuis doubled to center field, driving Monell home to make it 10-6, the final score of the game. The RBI was Nieuwenhuis’ first of the season.
Chase Bradford pitched the final two innings of the game for the Las Vegas 51s to earn his sixth save of the season. Satterwhite (2-0) earned the win. Pestano (0-3) took the loss for the Bees.
Four Salt Lake players had two hits in the game, led by Marte who had a run and 2 RBI to go along with his 2 doubles. Rivera led the Las Vegas 51s with 3 doubles, 2 runs scored and an RBI.
By Robert Pannier