A night after watching an eight-run lead slip away and enduring one of their toughest losses of the season, the 51s turned the tables on Tacoma with what was perhaps one of their best wins of the season.
The 51s mounted a late comeback of their own, scoring seven runs in innings seven through nine to beat Tacoma 8-7 on Tuesday night at Cheney Stadium.
“It’s exactly what happened [Monday] night to us,” manager Pedro Lopez said. “Tonight we were able to put some good at-bats together and the guys did a good job.”
Dominic Smith drove in the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth with an RBI single plating Amed Rosario, who had tripled to lead off the inning before him.
And Hansel Robles locked down the save — his third of the season — though he did make things interesting, allowing a hit and a run in the inning. Kyle Regnault picked up the win with a scoreless eighth inning.
“Great come from behind win and the guys did a really good job putting some good at-bats together and Regnault did a really nice job as well as robles coming in from the bullpen,” Lopez said.
After scoring two in the seventh on a Travis Taijeron home run and Victor Cruzado RBI single, Cruzado came through once again in the eighth.
With two outs, the 51s (30-48) loaded the bases. Phillip Evans single cut the deficit to 7-4. Cruzado tied the game with a double that cleared the bases.
Cruzado, who has been getting everyday playing time since Brandon Nimmo was recalled by the Mets on June 16, was hitting .339 in the month of June with 20 hits in 17 games coming into Tuesday before adding two more crucial hits and four RBIs in the win over Tacoma (39-37).
“I think that’s he’s taking advantage of the opportunity. He’s doing a really good job right now,” Lopez said. “When Brandon left, now he’s going out there, he’s putting the time in — not that he didn’t before but I think playing more often now has given him an opportunity to get in a rhythm and he’s doing a good job for us.”
Every 51s starter had a hit in the victory, with Evans (three), Cruzado, Rosario and Smith pitching in multihit efforts.
The 51s trailed early as their defense let them down with a pair of errors.
Starter Donovan Hand pitched six innings and gave up five runs, but just two earned runs.
“After [Monday] night’s ball game, we came out tonight (and) I thought that Hand set the tone,” Lopez said. “He got in trouble a couple times and we made some errors behind him … put him in some tough spots but I’ll tell you what, he really did a nice job pitching out of some tough jams and the guys did a really good job swinging the bats tonight.”
Who: Las Vegas 51s at Tacoma Rainiers
When: 7:05 p.m. Wednesday
Where: Cheney Stadium, Tacoma, Washington
Starters: Wilfredo Boscan (3-5, 4.58 ERA) vs. Casey Lawrence (0-0, 5.74 ERA)
Thursday: Las Vegas at Tacoma, 7:05 p.m.
Friday: Las Vegas at Salt Lake, 5:35 p.m.
Saturday: Las Vegas at Salt Lake, 5:35 p.m.
Sunday: Las Vegas at Salt Lake, 6:05 p.m.
Monday: Las Vegas at Salt Lake, 5:35 p.m.
Right-hander Wilfredo Boscan was knocked out in the first inning of his last start on June 23 after a hard batted ball hit him in the left shin. In the start before that, Boscan gave up five runs (four earned) in five innings.
Contact Betsy Helfand at email@example.com. Follow @BetsyHelfand on Twitter.