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51s fall behind early, and are upended by Grizzlies

Before the 51s recorded their second hit of the game Friday night, they were down seven runs.

And even though they were able to chip away at Fresno’s lead throughout, they never held a lead and were dealt their first loss of the season by a Grizzlies team that scored early and often.

Fresno jumped on starting pitcher Seth Lugo, tagging him for seven runs — five earned — in the 51s’ 15-10 loss.

And after Lugo departed, the Grizzlies piled on, scoring seven runs off the first three men out of the bullpen — Dario Alvarez, Stolmy Pimentel and Zack Thornton.

The 51s cut Fresno’s lead to three after scoring three runs apiece in both the fourth and fifth innings, but that was the closest they got.

 

“When you give up that many hits and that many runs in a game, it makes it tough on your pitching, it makes it tough on your offense,” manager Wally Backman said.

Jon Singleton helped key the Grizzlies’ offense going 3-for-4 with four runs driven in and a home run in the sixth inning.

Three other players — A.J. Reed, Colin Moran and Jon Kemmer — also drove in multiple runs for the Grizzlies.

Catcher Johnny Monell led the 51s with three runs driven in, helping atone for a costly throwing error — his second in as many games — that led to two runs scoring.

It was a forgettable night for both pitching staffs, with 32 combined hits, but Las Vegas pitching coach Frank Viola didn’t see the end of it from his seat in the dugout after getting ejected by home plate umpire Ramon DeJesus for arguing in the seventh inning.

“Over the course of the game, I think we threw (211) pitches and that’s not going to win you very many baseball games,” Backman said.

For the 51s, Paul Sewald was the lone pitcher who didn’t surrender a run. Sewald, who will serve as the team’s closer this season, didn’t allow a run in 1 2/3 innings pitched.

“The highlight of the game was having Paul Sewald, the local kid, tonight come out and pitch the way he did,” Backman said.

Betsy Helfand can be reached at bhelfand@reviewjournal.com. Follow on Twitter: @betsyhelfand

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