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Aviators Top 5: Familiar face returns to Las Vegas lineup

Aviators Top 5

1. Hall of Thames: A face — and body — familiar to Las Vegas baseball fans was in the starting lineup on opening night. Former Milwaukee Brewers slugger Eric Thames returned to town for his second Triple-A stint. The muscular Thames, who makes his home in Las Vegas, played for the 51s in 2011 and ‘12 and hit a homer and drove in four runs in Wednesday’s 8-7 loss to Reno.

2. Early showers: Through the first four games of 2022, Aviators starting pitchers have lasted 2⅔, 4⅓, 3⅔ and 2⅓ innings. Right-hander Parker Dunshee has been anointed the early season workhorse after allowing two runs on two hits in his 4⅓-inning stint in a 8-7 loss to the Aces on Wednesday. He threw 67 pitches.

3. Snow-hitters: The Aviators leave town Monday for an ambitiously scheduled six-game series in Salt Lake City against the Bees, the Triple-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels. Snow showers are forecast Tuesday and Wednesday with high temperatures in the low 40s.

4. Manaea mania: Aviators alumnus Sean Manaea threw seven no-hit innings for the San Diego Padres in his 2022 debut, allowing a walk and striking out seven. The big lefty was 3-1 in five starts for the 2019 Aviators before being called up by the parent A’s.

5. Baseball feets: Although GM Chuck Johnson’s shoes that resemble baseballs made their traditional opening week appearance, a team spokesman confirmed they were not rubbed up with special mud from a Delaware River tributary before any of the games.

Contact Ron Kantowski at rkantowski@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0352. Follow @ronkantowski on Twitter.

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