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Las Vegas Aviators split with Isotopes

Sheldon Neuse and Cameron Rupp each clubbed two-run homers as the Las Vegas Aviators managed a split of a doubleheader against the Albuquerque Isotopes on Sunday with a 4-1 second-game victory at Isotopes Park in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The Aviators (51-39) lost the first game — the continuation of a rain-suspended game Saturday — 6-5 as the Isotopes (37-53) scored twice in the ninth inning.

The split sent the two Pacific Coast League teams into the Triple-A All-Star Break, with the Aviators returning to action at 7:05 p.m. Thursday against the Salt Lake Bees at Las Vegas Ballpark.

Neuse hit his 16th home run in the first inning of the seven-inning second game, and Rupp delivered his third in the fifth.

The homers made a winner of first reliever Trey McNutt (4-1) as Aviators manager Fran Riordan was forced to use his bullpen due to the doubleheader. McNutt gave up two hits and struck out three in two innings, with Kyle Finnegan working one inning for his first save.

In the nine-inning opener, Albuquerque tallied the tying run on Dom Nunez’s bases-loaded, no-out sacrifice fly and the winning run on a continuation of the play as first baseman Neuse committed a throwing error.

The Aviators trailed 3-0 in the top of the second when the game was suspended Saturday. After Albuquerque added a run in the third on Sunday, Las Vegas chipped away, finally taking a 5-4 lead in the sixth on Beau Taylor’s two-run homer, his seventh of the season.

Paul Blackburn (7-2) took the loss for the Aviators, working seven innings after coming in for Parker Dunshee, who started Saturday and pitched one inning.

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