The Las Vegas 51s (39-68) and Colorado Springs Sky Sox (63-41) went scoreless for their first six innings at Cashman, but the 51s managed to manufacture some offense behind slick base running and timely hitting to beat the Sky Sox 3-0.
In the seventh inning, Las Vegas shortstop Amed Rosario drew a walk off of Sky Sox reliever Tyler Cravy (5-3, 5.54). Then Rosario took off for second base on the first pitch to first baseman Dominic Smith to steal his 19th base of the season.
A short time after the steal, Smith hit an RBI double to score Rosario,1-0
Then catcher Kevin Plawecki hit a monster two-run homer over the left field wall which also scored Smith, 3-0.
Las Vegas manager Pedro Lopez credits Rosario’s steal with initiating the spark which would lead the 51s to their first shut out victory at home for the season.
“Amed takes off with the stolen base, and gives Dominic a chance for that RBI double,” he said. “I thought it was a good win for everybody”.
However, it was a pitchers duel in the early going with Jonathan Albaladejo (1-0, 0.00) and Brandon Woodruff going through each others the line ups multiple times over the course of the first six innings.
Albaladejo pitched seven innings and finished with six hits, two walks and eight strikeouts. Albaladejo was focused on getting ahead in the pitch count, and believed good things would happen for the 51s if he could get the Sky Sox batters swinging.
“Felt like I had pretty good command on my pitches tonight,” he said. “I heard they swing early in the count, so I threw a lot of sinkers early to get them to hit groundballs and take advantage of their aggressiveness.”
Woodruff had five hits, two walks, and six strikeouts in five innings.
Albaladejo, who was signed by the New York Mets last week and pitched in relief on Tuesday, has not allowed a run in his 11 innings with the 51s. So far Lopez likes what he’s seeing.
“He was aggressive in the strikezone,” he said. “He did a really good job working ahead, mixing pitches, and locating his pitch overall.”
The 51s took the first of four games with the Sky Sox, and Lopez is hoping his team can keep playing well and salvage some part of their season during this extended homestand, the team’s longest of the year.
“We have gotten better,” he said. “I think we still have room for improvement. Hopefully this last part of the year will be a positive one for us.”
Las Vegas will face Colorado Springs in the second of their four-game series Sunday night at Cashman Field.
Who: Colorado Springs at 51s
When: 7:05 p.m. Sunday
Where: Cashman Field
Starters: Angel Ventura (5-2, 3.83 ERA) vs. Donavan Hand (2-5, 8.05 ERA)
Monday: Colorado Springs at Las Vegas, 7:05 p.m.
Tuesday: Colorado Springs at Las Vegas, 7:05 p.m.
Thursday: Oklahoma City at Las Vegas, 7:05 p.m.
Friday: Oklahoma City at Las Vegas, 7:05 p.m.
Saturday: Oklahoma City at Las Vegas, 7:05 p.m.
Saturday marked the start of the longest homestand this season. The 51s will host three straight four-games series against Colorado Springs, Oklahoma City and in-state rival Reno.
Contact Jonathan Saxon at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @J_Saxon91 on Twitter.