Pitchers again put 51s in deep hole

Even as one of the best offensive teams in the Pacific Coast League, the 51s can’t seem to score enough to offset their poor pitching and defense.

Las Vegas — second in the PCL in batting (.290), but first in errors (61 in 51 games) and worst in ERA (6.04) — issued a season-high nine walks and was sunk by a six-run inning for the second straight day in a 9-7 loss to Tacoma at Cashman Field on Sunday.

The Rainiers (23-24), who set season highs in hits (20) and runs in Saturday’s 17-9 rout of the 51s (21-30), took control early Sunday and never trailed.

“We’ve been doing that for the last month, it seems like. We’ve been behind from jump street,” Las Vegas manager Dan Rohn said. “We’ve got to settle down and make our pitches early in the ballgame. We’ve got to give our hitters a chance to get in the flow of the game. You’re asking a ton out of these guys to come back every night.”

Ramon Vazquez led off the game with a double down the right-field line and Mike Carp followed with a double down the left-field line to give the Rainiers a 1-0 lead.

Tommy Everidge ripped a run-scoring double to left-center field to make it 2-0. 51s left fielder Aaron Mathews leapt for the ball but landed awkwardly and limped off the field with an undisclosed injury.

Brad Nelson drew a walk and Guillermo Quiroz crushed a three-run homer over the left-field wall to make it 5-0.

With two outs, Mike Wilson walked and stole second. Jeffrey Dominguez, who led Tacoma with three hits, delivered an RBI single to make it 6-0.

Right-hander Marty McLeary started for the 51s in place of scheduled starter Brian Tallet, who is slated to be called up by the Toronto Blue Jays.

McLeary allowed eight runs on nine hits, including three homers, walked four and struck out five in five innings as he fell to 0-4 with an 11.33 ERA.

“We’ve got to be able to stay out of big innings,” Rohn said. “We’ve given up six or seven spots in an inning just like it’s nothing.”

J.P. Arencibia homered in the second for the 51s, but Nelson and Greg Halman each homered in the fifth to give Tacoma an 8-1 lead.

Las Vegas rallied for three unearned runs with two outs in the fifth. Chris Lubanski reached third base on a fielding error and scored on a single by Kyle Phillips. Jarrett Hoffpauir hit an RBI double and Luis Figueroa followed with a run-scoring single to make it 8-4.

The 51s closed to 8-5 in the seventh, when Lubanski led off with a triple and scored on a single by Phillips, and made it 8-7 in the eighth on a two-run homer by Chris Aguila.

Tacoma added an insurance run in the ninth, when Nelson reached on an error and scored on a single by Halman.

Figueroa, who led Las Vegas with three hits, was stranded at second in the ninth as the 51s fell a season-worst nine games under .500.

“Something’s got to change somewhere,” Rohn said..

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@
reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0354.

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