The 51s’ longest trip of the season got off to a bad start Thursday night against their in-state rival.
Las Vegas reliever Hansel Robles allowed six runs in the seventh inning as the Reno Aces broke open a one-run game en route to a 9-2 victory at Greater Nevada Field.
Rafael Montero (0-1) started the first game of an 11-game trip and pitched 5 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on five hits and three walks while striking out eight. He threw 100 pitches, 64 for strikes, and left with Las Vegas trailing 3-0 against the Pacific North Division-leading Aces (34-20).
“He battled well,” 51s manager Pedro Lopez said. “I would say one too many deep counts. But I think overall he battled well.”
Las Vegas (21-33) scored twice in the seventh inning to cut its deficit to 3-2. Desmond Jennings singled with two outs and scored on Gavin Cecchini’s double. Phillip Evans followed with a single that scored Cecchini.
But Robles couldn’t keep the 51s in the game, allowing the six runs (five earned) on five hits, one walk and one wild pitch in one-third of an inning. He gave up home runs to Ildemaro Vargas and Oswaldo Arcia.
Despite the rough outing, Lopez said he still sees Robles as a dependable veteran who can close out a game.
“He was one pitch away from getting a ground-ball double play to get out of the inning,” Lopez said. “Unfortunately everything happened. He didn’t have his best stuff.”
Lopez said his team needs to have a short memory.
“Stuff happens,” he said. “We got to make sure we put this one behind us and go get them tomorrow.”
Who: 51s at Reno Aces
When: 7:05 p.m. Friday
Where: Greater Nevada Field, Reno
Starters: Wilfredo Boscan (0-3, 4.41 ERA), 51s, vs. Anthony Banda (5-2, 4.47 ERA)
Saturday: Las Vegas at Reno, 7:05 p.m.
Sunday: Las Vegas at Reno, 1:05 p.m.
Monday: Las Vegas at Salt Lake, 6:05 p.m.
Tuesday: Las Vegas at Salt Lake, 6:05 p.m.
Wednesday: Las Vegas at Salt Lake, 6:05 p.m.
The 51s don’t return home until June 13 against the Sacramento River Cats.
Contact Jonathan Saxon at email@example.com. Follow @J_Saxon91 on Twitter.