Steven Matz Takes Sting out of Bees in 7-4 Las Vegas 51s Win
The Las Vegas 51s were looking for lucky number seven on Wednesday afternoon, as Steven Matz went to the hill looking to send his club to their seventh straight win. The left-hander was also looking for his seventh win of the season, and after throwing seven innings of shutout ball his club walked away with the 5-1 win over the Salt Lake Bees.
The game was a scoreless pitchers’ duel for the first five innings as Matz was matched pitch-for-pitch by Bees starter Tyler DeLoach. Matz allowed a single and a walk in the first inning, but picked off both runners. From there Matz retired the side in order in four of the next six innings, including the last three innings he pitched.
The only real threat against the lefty came in the fourth when Alex Yarbrough led off with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. That brought C.J. Cron to the plate, who lined a base hit into right field. Travis Taijeron came up with the ball and fired home to gun down Yarbrough and keep the game scoreless. From there Matz retired the final ten batters he faced.
The only threat against DeLoach came in the third when Las Vegas got a single from Wilfredo Tovar and T.J. Rivera walked with two outs, but the Bees starter got Matt Reynolds to fly out to end the inning. He then retired six of the next seven batters he faced, as the game was scoreless through five.
In the bottom of the sixth the Las Vegas 51s finally broke through. Rivera led off with a double, his fourth in two games, and Reynolds lined a DeLoach offering to the wall in center field, legging it out for a triple. Alex Castellanos followed with a double, and in the span of three batters a scoreless tie was turned into a 2-0 lead for the home team. Kurt Spomer replaced DeLoach and gave up a single to Jayce Boyd that scored Castellanos, and it was 3-0 after six.
In the eighth the 51s got two more runs. With Jo-Jo Reyes on in relief for Salt Lake, Castellanos walked with one out. That brought Anthony Recker to the plate, and he promptly deposited a home run over the left-center field wall for his first home run for the Las Vegas 51s. That made it 5-0.
In the ninth John Church came in to relieve, looking to close out the shutout. The Salt Lake Bees had other ideas however. Gary Brown began the inning with a single and moved to second two batters later when Ryan Jackson beat out an infield single. Grant Green’s line drive single up the middle with two outs plated Brown to make it 5-1. That would be all the runs Salt Lake could get however, as the Bees lost. That gave the Las Vegas 51s a sweep of the three-game series.
Matz (7-4) earned the victory, allowing 4 hits and a walk in 7 innings pitched. He also stuck out 5. DeLoach (1-3) took the hard luck loss, allowing 6 hits, a walk and 3 earned runs in 5.1 innings pitched. He struck out 5.
Recker, appearing in his first game for Las Vegas, was 2-4 with a run and 2 RBI. He also homered. Jayce Boyd also had two hits.
The Las Vegas 51s look to increase their winning streak to eight when they travel to Fresno to take on the Grizzlies. Tyler Pill (2-3, 6.00) will get the start for Las Vegas. Salt Lake moves onto El Paso.
By Robert Pannier