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Bullpen pitches 51s to victory at Reno

The 51s were forced into a bullpen game for the second time in four days to help fill the New York Mets’ needs.

With ace Tyler Pill summoned to Los Angeles to join the Mets, Logan Taylor again got the ball to start the game Tuesday at Greater Nevada Field in Reno.

This time the 51s’ bullpen outpitched Reno, as Las Vegas won 8-4 to snap its four-game losing streak and stave off a sweep.

With Kevin McGowan, the 51s’ other usual option for a spot start, pitching Monday, Las Vegas manager Pedro Lopez opted for Taylor to start for the second time in the series.

“That’s one thing that I take pride on is taking care of the bullpen, making sure that we always have coverage for the following day,” Lopez said. “I think (pitching coach Frank Viola) and I were on the same page on that. … With the off day tomorrow, it worked out.”

Taylor allowed two unearned runs on one hit in two innings.

The 51s then got scoreless innings from Kyle Regnault, Beck Wheeler (3-3) and Erik Goeddel, while Alberto Baldonado and Chasen Bradford each allowed one run.

“It’s difficult, but we’ve got the right characters,” Lopez said of two bullpen games in four days. “They did a good job. They really stepped up to the challenge and gave us a chance to win a ballgame.”

Wheeler, making his first appearance since coming off the disabled list, got the win after retiring all eight batters he faced. The outing was perhaps the best of the season for Wheeler, who has a 6.83 ERA.

“He did a really good job,” Lopez said, “and actually I have to say … the last two outings that he’s had, he’s done a good job. I think he’s come a long way from where he was before. He’s made some adjustments to his delivery, and he’s worked hard at it. I think you’ve got to give credit to Beck and also Frankie.”

Tuesday was the first game in which the 51s (28-44) held Reno (45-27) to fewer than seven runs in the series.

And Las Vegas, held to seven runs in the first three games of the series, finally produced some offense and finished with 14 hits.

Trailing 2-1 after the first inning, the 51s scored five runs in the second.

Josh Rodriguez drove in two runs with a triple, Victor Cruzado and Dominic Smith had RBI doubles, and a run scored on a wild pitch.

Aces starter Frank Duncan was chased after three innings and seven runs.

“I don’t think he had his best stuff today,” Lopez said. “He worked behind, and whenever he came over the middle of the plate, we were able to do some damage against him. That’s something that we didn’t do last time, so I’m glad that we were able to make that adjustment and take this last game here.”

Smith and Travis Taijeron each had three hits, and Cruzado and Jio Mier — who homered in the ninth inning — had two apiece.

Las Vegas shortstop Amed Rosario didn’t play, but Lopez said it was just to get a day off.

Up next

Who: Salt Lake Bees at 51s

When: 7:05 p.m. Thursday

Where: Cashman Field

Starters: TBD, Bees, vs. Donovan Hand (1-2, 5.40 ERA)

Next five

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

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

Sunday: Salt Lake at Las Vegas, 12:05 p.m.

Monday: Las Vegas at Tacoma, 6:05 p.m.

Tuesday: Las Vegas at Tacoma, 6:05 p.m.

Update

Tyler Pill, who was supposed to start for the 51s on Tuesday, was summoned to the New York Mets and is scheduled to start Wednesday in Los Angeles against the Dodgers. Tim Peterson was assigned to Triple-A Las Vegas from Double A on Tuesday. … The 51s are off Wednesday.

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

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