After playing their second straight 14-inning game Saturday, the New York Mets hurriedly summoned 51s left-hander Dana Eveland — Las Vegas’ scheduled starter Sunday — to Philadelphia to reinforce their taxed pitching staff against the Phillies.
Eveland — one of nine 51s players, including six pitchers, called up by the Mets the past three weeks — was replaced by Greg Peavey, who was recalled from Double-A Binghamton (N.Y.) late Saturday night and had to scramble to make it to Las Vegas for Sunday’s 12:05 p.m. start.
Peavey probably wished he’d missed his 3:30 a.m. PDT flight from New York after giving up seven runs on eight hits and four walks in three innings of the 51s’ 7-4 loss to the Reno Aces at Cashman Field.
“The struggles were other than just being tired,” Peavey said. “I’m just beating myself. I’m not giving myself a chance getting behind hitters and I’m putting my team in a tough situation.”
Peavey has excelled in Double A — tossing a two-hit shutout May 7 en route to Eastern League Pitcher of the Week honors — but has struggled mightily in three Triple-A starts for Las Vegas, allowing 19 runs on 23 hits and 11 walks in 11 1/3 innings.
“Triple A is a tough level. You’ve got to be able to locate your pitches. This is where you separate the men from the boys,” 51s manager Wally Backman said. “You’ve got a lot of pro hitters, especially in the (Pacific Coast League).
“The PCL, from what I’ve seen, is a much better league than the International League, with more professional hitters. You make mistakes in this league, you’re going to get hurt.”
Peavey walked the bases loaded in the second inning before giving up a three-run double to Roger Kieschnick, who had four hits and four RBIs for Reno (34-23). The Aces added three more runs in the third to go ahead 7-1.
“I know that Peavey didn’t pitch well but we can’t let one person affect the way that we played the game. It affected our offense big time today,” Backman said. “We had the attitude early in the year that it didn’t matter if we fell behind, we were coming back. That’s the attitude we need.”
Las Vegas (34-23) rallied for two runs in the seventh and one in the ninth, when they brought the tying run to the plate, but Andrew Brown struck out as his 12-game hitting streak ended.
Omar Quintanilla had two hits and two RBIs for the 51s, who went 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position en route to their fourth straight loss — sixth straight at home — and 12th in 15 games.
“We haven’t played good baseball of late. We’re a lot better team than we’re showing,” Backman said. “We’re a team that’s supposed to score a lot of runs and we haven’t been doing that of late. It’s something we’ve got to look ourselves in the mirror and try to kick it in the ass.”
Andy Marte added four hits for Reno and Lucas Harrell (3-0) scattered six hits in six innings.
“Maybe he hit his spots better than I thought he hit his spots, but he didn’t show me a whole lot,” Backman said. “This lineup we had should have scored eight runs off that guy.”
Backman said the steady stream of call-ups — 13 players have been promoted to the Mets this season — has adversely affected the team.
“We can’t worry about what’s going on above us, when they take people, and I feel that’s part of the issue we have right now,” he said. “We have to keep our focus on what we have to do here to develop guys still and win games.”
Contact reporter Todd Dewey at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0354. Follow him on Twitter: @tdewey33.