51s’ final homestand ending with a whimper

So much for the 51s finishing the season strong or salvaging a .500 record.

The way they’re playing, they’ll be lucky to salvage a victory to avoid going 0-9 on their last homestand of the year.

Las Vegas suffered its season-high eighth straight loss Friday in a 10-5 defeat to the Reno Aces in front of a crowd of 9,654 at Cashman Field.

The 51s, who fell to 29-41 at home this year, have dropped the first seven games of their nine-game homestand while getting outscored 52-20 and outhit 72-45.

The loss ensured Las Vegas (61-73) of its sixth losing record in its last seven seasons, and it also clinched the 10th consecutive losing season for the Triple-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays.

Cole Gillespie went 4-for-5 with a triple, a double, two RBIs and four runs for Reno (64-69), and former 51s infielder Tony Abreu had three hits and three RBIs.

Every starter had a hit for the Aces, who have won 10 of 14 meetings with Las Vegas this year.

Trailing 4-0 in the sixth inning, Las Vegas rallied for three runs — on a solo homer by Jarrett Hoffpauir, an RBI single by Jason Lane and an RBI double by Chris Lubanski — to make it a 4-3 game.

They were threatening to score more with runners on second and third base with no outs when Reno reliever Jason Urquidez replaced starter Cesar Valdez and struck out Brad Emaus and Danny Perales before retiring Aaron Mathews on a foul popup to first baseman Jeff Bailey to end the threat.

“We’ve got second and third with nobody out, and we can’t even put the ball in play,” 51s manager Dan Rohn said. “That turns the whole game around.”

The Aces erupted for four runs in the seventh to extend their lead to 8-3 and added two in the eighth.

Veteran left-hander Willie Collazo, who joined Las Vegas on Friday, replaced Merkin Valdez to start the seventh and gave up four runs on four doubles, two singles and two wild pitches.

Ed Rogers drilled a leadoff double to left field, and Gillespie followed with an RBI double down the left-field line to make the score 5-3. Abreu and Yunesky Sanchez each added an RBI double to make it 7-3, and Carlos Corporan ripped an RBI single for an 8-3 lead.

Sean Henn (3-4) made a spot start in place of scheduled Las Vegas starter Brad Mills and allowed three runs on five hits in 2 2/3 innings. He departed in the third inning after taking a line drive by Abreu off his right foot.

Valdez (5-9) got the win, allowing three runs on seven hits in five innings.

Hoffpauir led Las Vegas with three hits, and J.P. Arencibia and Mike Jacobs added two hits apiece.

“We’re just kind of in a rut right now, especially offensively,” said Lane, who pitched the ninth. “It’s frustrating.”

Said Rohn: “It’s ugly baseball right now. It’s simple as that.”

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0354.

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