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51s battle back from early hole, beat Salt Lake

The 51s found themselves in a hole early.

They were down four after the first and trailed by five after two.

But there remained a lot of baseball to be played and the 51s battled back to beat Salt Lake 12-7 in the third game of the four-game set on Sunday night at Smith’s Ballpark.

Salt Lake (46-37) helped fuel the comeback in the third with an error.

“Just kept telling the guys to have quality at-bats and keep grinding it out and they did,” manager Pedro Lopez said. “They had really good at-bats, put (themselves) in good situations, got big hits and came up with the win.”

Amed Rosario’s two-run triple put Las Vegas (32-51) on the board and after a Dominic Smith walk, a Travis Taijeron two-run double put the 51s just one run down.

Jayce Boyd’s RBI single with two outs tied the game.

In the fourth, the 51s broke the game open by scoring four more runs to take a 9-5 lead. Two of those runs came on a Josh Rodriguez double to center.

The 51s tacked on one run in the sixth and two more in the eighth.

Both Carrillo and Rosario had three hits in the win while Gavin Cecchini, Taijeron and Boyd had two apiece. Every starter had at least one.

Rosario paced the team with three RBIs while Taijeron and Rodriguez added two.

“From the way we approached every at-bat to hitting with men in scoring position, driving the ball to all fields, we did a really good job,” Lopez said.

Thanks to the offensive outburst, starter Donovan Hand picked up the win despite his early struggles.

Despite a heavy toll in the first inning — 41 pitches — he managed to give the 51s five innings.

The organization limits minor league pitchers to no more than 40 pitches in an inning but with a tired bullpen, the 51s needed Hand to go more than one inning.

“We knew about it but at the same time, he finished with 41 pitches. We were short in the bullpen and we needed to send him back out,” Lopez said. “We needed him to give us as many innings as he could. Actually, he did a really nice job after the second inning. I thought that he did a really good job executing his pitches.”

He gave up six runs in the outing on nine hits. Four relievers — Kyle Regnault, Hansel Robles, Ben Rowen and Kevin McGowan followed — each hurled an inning.

“In the first inning, everything was up in the zone and he worked behind, just got hit around and after the second I thought he did a much better job,” Lopez said.

Up next

■ Who: Las Vegas 51s at Salt Lake Bees

■ When: 5:35 p.m. Monday

■ Where: Smith’s Ballpark, Salt Lake City

■ Starters: Wilfredo Boscan (3-6, 5.17 ERA) vs. TBD

Next five

■ Tuesday: El Paso at Las Vegas, 7:05 p.m.

■ Wednesday: El Paso at Las Vegas, 7:05 p.m.

■ Thursday: El Paso at Las Vegas, 7:05 p.m.

■ Friday: Las Vegas at Albuquerque, 6:05 p.m.

■ Saturday: Las Vegas at Albuquerque, 6:05 p.m.

Contact Betsy Helfand at bhelfand@reviewjournal.com. Follow @BetsyHelfand on Twitter.

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