It was anything but easy for the 51s on Friday.
No matter what they did, the Omaha Storm Chasers seemed to be right behind them, knocking on the door up until the last out of the game.
Chris Beck got Frank Schwindel to ground out to save a 12-11 victory for Las Vegas in the series finale at Werner Park after the Storm Chasers had hit back-to-back home runs off Buddy Baumann with two outs to slice the lead to just one.
The 51s (54-57) never trailed in the game, though they did see the Storm Chasers (50-60) battle back each time they started to pull away.
“It’s just one of these PCL games today where a lot of home runs (were) hit today. A lot of mistakes made by our pitching,” 51s manager Tony DeFrancesco said. “(Nabil) Crismatt battled. He just couldn’t execute pitches when he had to. The bullpen kind of fought through the whole game.”
Las Vegas received two-run home runs in each of the first three innings — from Peter Alonso, Jack Reinheimer and Bryce Brentz respectively — but Omaha came back with two of its own in each of the second, third and fourth innings off Crismatt to tie the game.
Left fielder Donnie Dewees did much of the damage for Omaha, going 4-for-5 with four RBIs in the win, delivering both an RBI double and home run off Crismatt.
Crismatt, ineffective once more, gave up six runs on seven hits in 3 1/3 innings pitched.
“You look at his five or six starts, everything’s been the same. Doesn’t execute when he’s ahead in the count,” DeFrancesco said. “Fastball command’s erratic. It’s just been a tough six outings for him getting acclimated to Triple-A.”
After Crismatt left, the 51s put up four runs in the fifth inning to retake the lead, starting with Brentz’s second home run of the night.
Jose Lobaton and Matt den Dekker (double) also pitched in RBI hits in the inning.
Brentz, who came off the disabled list this week after beind sidelined since May, and Alonso led the team with three hits and three RBIs each while Zach Borenstein, Patrick Kivlehan and Reinheimer each had two hits.
“Bryce Brentz came in and is doing a job right now. Hit a couple home runs,” DeFrancesco said. “Alonso hit the ball well today. Just a great team effort today.”
Despite the offensive output, the Storm Chasers kept hanging around. They tagged reliever Matt Purke for three runs in the bottom of the fifth to keep the game close and after Ian Krol and Tim Peterson did their part to protect the lead, Omaha was right back there with two home runs in the ninth.
“The way the ball was carrying today, the wind wasn’t really blowing but every mistake seemed to leave the ballpark,” DeFrancesco said.
Lobaton left the game after taking a foul tip off his hand. DeFrancesco said he lost feeling in it.
He is considered day-to-day but DeFrancesco said he expected him to be OK.
Also, starter Chris Flexen was placed on the disabled list. DeFrancesco said Flexen had been having some knee problems and would be checked out by the doctor.