RENO — Now that’s how Aviators pull out of a nosedive.
Paul Blackburn tossed six scoreless innings and Seth Brown got the Aviators going with an RBI triple in the fourth inning and bookended the scoring with a two-run homer in the eighth as Las Vegas snapped a five-game Pacific Coast League losing streak with a 6-3 victory over the Reno Aces at Greater Nevada Field.
The Aviators (16-9) were coming off a series sweep by El Paso at Las Vegas Ballpark. Prior to that, Las Vegas had won 15 of its first 19 games to open the season.
Blackburn (3-1) yielded just three singles with no walks and five strikeouts in earning the victory.
The Aces (9-15) finally broke through in the eighth against Las Vegas reliever Norge Ruiz. They scored three runs with two out, with Yasmany Tomás singling in one and Tyler Heineman singling in a pair.
Brian Schlitter worked the final 1⅓ innings, allowing just one hit, in recording his fourth save.
Brown’s run-scoring triple in the fourth was followed by Sean Murphy’s sacrifice fly for a 2-0 Las Vegas lead. The Aviators added single runs in the sixth and seventh — on sacrifice flies by Corban Joseph and Mark Payton, respectively — before Brown hit his ninth homer in the eighth after Dustin Fowler led off with a walk.
Aces starter Vinny Nittoli (0-3) took the loss.