The 51s had to piece together a bullpen game Friday on a day’s notice.
The results probably were better than what they expected.
After the New York Mets played a 16-inning marathon game Thursday, they summoned the 51s’ scheduled starter, Sean Gilmartin, to the big leagues Friday.
That left reliever Logan Taylor to start for the 51s.
But though the 51s had to go with a bullpen game, they beat Fresno 4-2 at Cashman Field in a well-pitched game.
“Everybody in that bullpen did their part in order for us to win that ballgame, and then we got some key hits that allowed us to win this one,” Las Vegas manager Pedro Lopez said.
Lopez didn’t tell Taylor he was starting until the pitcher got to the ballpark.
Taylor, a former starter, made five spot starts last season in Double-A Binghamton, so it’s a role he’s not unfamiliar with.
“I try to keep everything the same,” Taylor said. “You’ve got to get after the hitters a little bit more to try to last a little bit longer and hope to save the rest of your bullpen, but as far as everything else goes, it doesn’t change too much.”
Taylor did that, retiring the side in the first inning on four pitches.
The 51s (4-5) took a 2-0 lead in the first inning, scoring their first run on Dominic Smith’s RBI double and their second when Kevin Plawecki hit a dribbler back to the mound and Fresno starter Edison Frias couldn’t handle it, allowing Smith to score.
Taylor gave back both runs in the second inning.
But that was it for the Grizzlies (5-4), and the 51s regained the lead in the second on Matt Reynolds’ RBI double.
They scored their only other run on a bases-loaded walk to Reynolds in the fourth.
Though they had opportunities to score more in the fourth and fifth, and Lopez credited the team with swinging the bats better than the numbers showed, the bullpen didn’t need any more support.
Taylor gave the 51s three innings, which is what Lopez wanted. He allowed two runs, four hits, no walks and struck out two.
“I wish I could have gone one more, but three is good,” Taylor said. “It helped save the guys. They didn’t have to go an extra three innings or anything like that.”
Kyle Regnault, called up Friday from Binghamton, relieved Taylor and pitched two scoreless innings hours after landing in Las Vegas.
“It’s just been a busy day, long day,” Regnault said. “I got the call last night around midnight that it was a possibility that I would be coming up today. We just got back from a road trip in Binghamton, so I had to do a bunch of laundry, get all that situated. (I had an) early flight this morning, long layover in Detroit, but I made it out here about an hour and a half before the game and was ready to go.”
Regnault got the victory, allowing three hits and one walk.
“That’s really hard, and he did a great job. The tough part about it is he’s back on an airplane tomorrow,” Lopez said. “To go out there for two innings against a good lineup and do what he did, I thought that was key.”
After Regnault, Beck Wheeler tossed two innings, and then Chasen Bradford and Paul Sewald each pitched one.
Sewald made things interesting in the ninth, loading the bases, but escaped the jam.
“Five pitchers, when it’s a bullpen day, that’s not bad at all,” Lopez said. “It helps, too, playing an American League game. That was a well-pitched game, and I thought the guys did a nice job.”
Who: Sacramento River Cats at 51s
When: 7:05 p.m. today
Where: Cashman Field
Starters: Joan Gregorio (0-0, 2.08 ERA), River Cats, vs. Wilfredo Boscan (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Sunday: Sacramento at Las Vegas, 12:05 p.m.
Monday: Sacramento at Las Vegas, 7:05 p.m.
Tuesday: Las Vegas at Fresno, 6:35 p.m.
Wednesday: Las Vegas at Fresno, 6:35 p.m.
Thursday: Las Vegas at Fresno, 7:05 p.m.
Contact Betsy Helfand at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @BetsyHelfand on Twitter.