51s helpless against assault by Portland

The 51s’ 21-4 loss to Portland on Sunday at Cashman Field wasn’t the most lopsided in franchise history, but it was certainly their worst defeat this season.

Las Vegas allowed a season-high nine runs and 10 hits in the third inning when Portland’s first nine batters each hit safely and scored to give the Beavers a 15-0 lead.

“They hit it where we weren’t standing. That’s the bottom line,” 51s manager Dan Rohn said. “They had like 17 groundball base hits. It was just one of those nights where everything they hit fell in.”

Portland manager Terry Kennedy said, “I hadn’t seen nine hits in a row and they all scored before. We’ve lost a lot of games because we haven’t been hitting. … There was a lot of pent-up energy and it seemed to all come out tonight.”

The 51s (48-54), who have lost four of five, allowed season highs in hits (32) and runs (21). Every Beavers starter had a hit and all but one had at least three hits, with former 51s catcher Kyle Phillips and right fielder Wily Mo Pena each going 5-for-6 with four RBIs.

“Tonight it just seemed like everything kind of clicked for me,” said Phillips, who had his first five-hit game and is batting .417 in 20 games for Portland.

In his first start of the season after 26 relief appearances, 51s right-hander Merkin Valdez gave up 12 runs on 12 hits and three walks in two innings.

The 51s entered the game tied with Colorado Springs for the highest ERA in the Pacific Coast League, at 5.97, and it rose to 6.12. Las Vegas outfielder Jason Lane pitched the ninth, allowing a run on three hits.

Portland lefty Cory Luebke held the 51s to two runs and five hits in eight innings, fanning eight and walking two.

The Beavers (39-62) have the Pacific Coast League’s worst record, lowest batting average (.257), fewest hits (861) and fewest runs (421). But it was hard to tell on this night.

Portland’s first three batters — Cedric Hunter, Craig Stansberry and Mike Baxter — each had four hits and scored four times, and Nick Green, Chris Stewart and Luis Durango had three hits apiece.

“I’m just glad to be on this end of it, finally, for once,” Kennedy said.

Surprisingly, there was only one home run, a solo shot by Stewart, as the Beavers swatted 25 singles, most up the middle, plus five doubles and a triple.

Callix Crabbe had a two-run single in the fifth and Aaron Mathews added a two-run double in the ninth for Las Vegas, which had six hits.

Lance Zawadzki doubled to open the third and Stewart, Durango, Hunter, Stansberry and Baxter followed with singles to make it 9-0 and chase Valdez.

Zach Jackson relieved and was greeted by a two-run double by Phillips, who was traded from the Toronto Blue Jays to the San Diego Padres on June 25.

Pena and Green followed with RBI singles to make it 13-0 before Jackson recorded the first out of the inning, getting Zawadzki on an RBI groundout.

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

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