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51s split doubleheader against Salt Lake

The 51s scored a combined 19 runs in the first two games of their series against Salt Lake.

That well ran dry Thursday night.

After taking the first game of the doubleheader 10-5, Las Vegas was shut out in the second game, losing 3-0 at Cashman Field.

Las Vegas received solid pitching performances from both of their starters, but Logan Verrett picked up a win and Tyler Pill a loss because of the run support behind them.

It was Verrett’s first start since Aug. 12. In between, he was sent down by the Mets and dealt with some soreness.

He gave up just two runs in six innings — one on a Daniel Nava solo home run in the third and one on a Nava RBI single in the fifth.

“I thought Verrett pitched a great game tonight,” Backman said. “Made the one mistake early to give up a home run but the run support from the offense was I thought very big for a guy like Verrett. You score that many runs for him, he’s going win ballgames for you.”

While Verrett was turning in a quality start, the 51s offense was roughing up former Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum.

Las Vegas jumped on him for eight runs — five earned — in just four innings.

“He got behind in the count. He left some pitches up and our offense is a good offense and hit the ball hard off him,” Backman said.

“Tim (was) a big time power pitcher at one time with good offspeed stuff and a big differential from his fastball to his offspeed stuff and now it’s a little bit closer. He went out there and battled today, he just didn’t have any success.”

Michael Conforto helped lead the offensive charge with three hits, including a two-run home run. Brandon Nimmo and Kevin Plawecki each finished with two hits and two RBIs in the win while Ty Kelly finished with a team-high three RBIs.

Las Vegas scored four runs in the second inning and then two runs apiece in each of the next three.

In the next game, Pill kept the 51s close, tossing five innings and giving up just one run on a soft fly ball that dropped in in the fourth to plate a run.

“Our starting pitching’s been pretty good. It was good in game one. It was pretty good in game two,” Backman said. “Pill got in trouble a few times. We got a couple of big double plays but he kept us within a run of Salt Lake.”

But despite Pill’s performance, the 51s managed just three hits in the second game and two of them came in the first inning as they settled for the split.

“Doubleheaders are tough at the end of the year. We played well the first game but guys are tired and I thought offensively it really showed in game two,” Backman said. “The energy level, you could see it wasn’t near as high in game two. I think they still played hard and they competed but the players are tired this time of year.”

Betsy Helfand can be reached at bhelfand@reviewjournal.com. Follow on Twitter: @BetsyHelfand

Up next

Who: Salt Lake Bees at Las Vegas 51s, 7:05 p.m.

When: 7:05 p.m. Friday

Where: Cashman Field

Starters: Troy Scribner (3-1, 1.09 ERA), Bees, vs. Josh Zeid (1-1, 7.71 ERA)

Next five

Saturday: Salt Lake at Las Vegas, 7:05 p.m.

Sunday: Off

Monday: Las Vegas at El Paso, 6:05 p.m.

Tuesday: Las Vegas at El Paso, 6:05 p.m.

Wednesday: Las Vegas at El Paso, 6:05 p.m.

Update

51s starter Duane Below was put on the disabled list Thursday, retroactive to Aug. 23. Manager Wally Backman said Wednesday that Below had been dealing with shoulder weakness.

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