51s’ bullpen surrenders 11 in loss to Round Rock

The new shades Drew Gagnon recently got to drown out the light in his home seemed to have done the trick.

The righty woke up late, sleeping in until around 11:30 a.m. Around that time, he got a call informing him that he would be needed to start Friday in place of Corey Oswalt, just a day after throwing a bullpen.

Gagnon gave it everything he had for five innings, but his efforts were wasted as the 51s’ bullpen gave up 11 runs in a 12-5 loss to Round Rock on Friday night at Cashman Field.

“It was a difficult, disappointing loss today,” manager Tony DeFrancesco said. “I thought Gagnon gave us a chance to win. We were up 4-1.”

The 51s (26-36) had a 4-1 lead after six innings and took a two-run lead into the eighth before things blew up for them.

Eric Hanhold gave up a walk and a single to the first two batters he faced. After a sacrifice fly plated one run, Hanhold allowed another single.

But the dagger in the inning was a three-run inside-the-park home run from Christian Lopes that gave the Express (27-34) a 6-4 lead. Hanhold gave up two more runs in the ninth inning.

“He didn’t really command his fastball today. His slider was erratic and when he had to throw a strike, he kind of left it up and over the middle of the plate and they didn’t miss it,” DeFrancesco said. “It’s a good lesson for him to figure out. In late innings he’s got to execute pitches, not try to overthrow.”

After Hanhold, Buddy Baumann came in and gave up a two-run blast before leaving the game with discomfort in his shoulder.

With a thin bullpen, that left catcher Jeff Glenn to finish the game. All told, the 51s gave up six runs in the ninth inning, putting the game safely out of reach.

Las Vegas had scored a run in the second on a Cody Asche RBI triple and three more in the third. They added another in the eighth on a Phillip Evans home run that cut the Round Rock lead to one at that point before the rocky ninth inning.

That left Gagnon with a no-decision, though he pitched well enough for a win in his five-inning outing.

He was called upon because the Mets wanted to hold Oswalt out in case they need to call him up this weekend.

Gagnon gave up just one run on two hits, though he did walk three batters.

In the fifth inning, he got himself into a jam thanks in part to two walks, loading the bases with just one out, prompting DeFrancesco to come out of the dugout.

“He asked if I could get a ground ball double play and I was like ‘I can get you a ground ball double play,’” Gagnon recounted. “The next thing you know, I got the double play and we were out of the inning. I turned and looked at him. I saw him pumped up in the dugout.”

In what was a pivotal play at the time, Gagnon got Willie Calhoun to ground back to him. He threw home and catcher Colton Plaia threw to first to complete the double play.

“I was pretty pumped up getting out of it,” Gagnon said. “I feel like that sparked the team a little bit but obviously it didn’t go our way in the end.”

More 51s: Follow all of our Las Vegas 51s coverage online at reviewjournal.com/51s and @RJ_Sports on Twitter.

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

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