92°F
weather icon Partly Cloudy

Luis Mateo, bullpen pitch 51s to victory

When Ricky Knapp was sent to Double-A to fill in the Rumble Ponies’ rotation earlier this month, it left the 51s with a hole in their own rotation.

Enter Luis Mateo.

Mateo, to that point, had sported a 7.56 ERA in 14 relief appearances with the 51s. But in his two spot starts, has now now turned in two solid performances for Las Vegas.

Mateo threw four scoreless innings on Tuesday, giving up just two hits in the 51s’ 8-1 win over Salt Lake in the series finale at Cashman Field.

In the start before that, Mateo had thrown three scoreless innings against Fresno.

Mateo said through a translator that he felt comfortable throwing any pitch in any count and manager Pedro Lopez said he thought Mateo, who had been a starter up until the last few years, looked more poised starting.

“I think that he feels comfortable starting,” Lopez said. “Fastball command’s been better, even though tonight I thought that it was just a little inconsistent but he’s been doing a good job these two times that he’s started so he’s going to go back out there again for a third time and hopefully he keeps doing what he’s doing. He’s giving us a chance to win ballgames.”

He did that Tuesday in his 55-pitch outing.

After Mateo, the 51s (52-78) sent out Kyle Regnault for two scoreless innings, Jacob Rhame for one, Ben Rowen, who gave up a run in his one inning, and Jamie Callahan for the ninth.

The stream of relievers had plenty of backing behind them starting in the first inning with Travis Taijeron’s two-run home, his 25th of the year.

After Jeff McNeil drove in a run on an RBI single in the second, Las Vegas hit three more homers in the game.

Travis Snider hit a solo shot in the third inning, Phillip Evans blasted one of his own in the seventh and Jayce Boyd hit a three-run home run, his third of the series, later in the inning.

Boyd had a strong offensive series for the 51s, who won three of four against the first-place Bees (65-65).

“We’ve been playing well. It’s a completely different team from the first half. I think the guys are doing a really good job. They’re having fun out there right now. We’re winning ballgames so hopefully we can keep playing the way that we’re playing at this point,” Lopez said. “The guys are doing a heck of the job. The pitchers are pitching well. The hitters are having good at-bats so hopefully we can keep on riding this all the way until the end.”

Up next

Who: Reno at Las Vegas, 7:05 p.m.

When: 7:05 p.m. Thursday

Where: Cashman Field

Starters: Jake Buchanan (6-2, 4.44 ERA) vs. Mitch Atkins (4-6, 6.34 ERA)

Next five

Friday: Reno at Las Vegas, 7:05 p.m.

Saturday: Reno at Las Vegas, 7:05 p.m.

Sunday: Reno at Las Vegas, 7:05 p.m.

Monday: Las Vegas at Sacramento, 7:05 p.m.

Tuesday: Las Vegas at Sacramento, 7:05 p.m.

Update

Right-handed reliever Kevin McGowan was called up on Tuesday as the Mets sent lefty Steven Matz to the disabled list. McGowan had gone up earlier in the month but didn’t debut. On Tuesday, he threw 1 1/3 innings and gave up one run in the Mets’ 7-4 loss to Arizona.

Contact Betsy Helfand at bhelfand@reviewjournal.com. Follow @BetsyHelfand on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
 
Sacramento continues winning ways over Las Vegas Aviators

Chris Shaw’s two-run single in the eighth-inning snapped a 2-2 tie Sunday as the Sacramento River Cats topped the Aviators 4-3 in a Pacific Coast League game before 7,863 at the Las Vegas Ballpark.

Former 51s slugger Alonso sets Mets rookie HR record

Alonso, 24, hit an 0-2 pitch to lead off the fourth inning for his 27th round-tripper of the season, besting Darryl Strawberry’s mark set in 1983.

 
Aviators lose to Sacramento on Finn bobblehead night

Francisco Pena’s sacrifice fly broke a ninth-inning tie Saturday and the Sacramento River Cats edged the Aviators 4-3 in a Pacific Coast League game in front of 10,143 fans at Las Vegas Ballpark.

 
Aviators rally, stun River Cats

The Aviators rallied from a nine-run deficit on Thursday night in their return to Las Vegas Ballpark, beating the Sacramento River Cats 11-10 in Pacific Coast League play before 10,089 fans.

Plot that wounded David Ortiz unraveled after many mistakes

Instead of killing his intended target, the hit man wounded David Ortiz, the baseball superstar almost universally adored in his native Dominican Republic.

Nationals to extend protective netting during All-Star break

Nationals managing principal owner Mark Lerner says the club will replace the current protection with more transparent netting and extend it to just short of the foul poles.