51s pitchers gave the Sacramento River Cats 900 free feet Saturday, and it cost the team dearly.
Benefiting from 10 walks and 22 total baserunners, Sacramento extended its lead in the Pacific Coast Lead to 61/2 games with an 8-7, 10-inning win on Saturday night at Cashman Field.
Las Vegas reliever Francisco Felix walked Sacramento’s Casey Rogowski to lead off the top of the 10th inning. Rogowski moved to second base on a flyout to deep center by Matt Murton and scored on Donnie Murphy’s game-winning single.
This late in the season, fatigue can be a valid excuse — but not to Las Vegas manager Lorenzo Bundy.
“I don’t think it was a matter of being tired,” Bundy said. “We just had a day off the day before yesterday, and the guys who pitched tonight didn’t pitch yesterday. We just didn’t execute our pitches. When you do that against the first-place club, you’re gonna get your butt beat.”
The wildness extended beyond the 51s’ bullpen, however. Las Vegas starter Miguel Pinango allowed eight hits and walked five in five innings, leaving with two men on base and no outs in the top of the sixth inning.
“There you have it,” Las Vegas manager Lorenzo Bundy said. “You can’t continually put men on base, especially with a good team; they’re gonna take advantage of it. From the fourth inning on, they only put up one zero — they scored and they scored and they scored.
“You can’t pitch this way in a game that means this much and expect to win.”
The 51s wasted another strong performance by designated hitter John Lindsey. Lindsey had the front end of back-to-back home runs for the second straight day — followed by Angel Chavez on Friday and Mitch Jones on Saturday — giving him four homers in three games and 24 for the season.
Las Vegas will need Lindsey to stay hot at the plate if it is to gain ground on Sacramento. Only 23 games remain, and Las Vegas has just two left against the River Cats, today and Monday.
“We’ve got to play baseball,” Bundy said. “Just because it’s a big game for us to win, we’ve still gotta play ball. The players dictate what you do and when; we’ll see what they dictate (today).”
• NOTES — Las Vegas is in the midst of a 25-game stretch with 21 on the road. … The 51s celebrated Las Vegas resident and World Series-winning manager Dick Williams for his recent induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Williams was awarded a congressional recognition and a 2008 Toyota Camry. … The Dodgers designated reliever Brian Falkenborg for assignment on Friday.SACRAMENTO — 8 LAS VEGAS — 7
KEY: 51s pitchers walked 10 River Cats batters and surrendered 13 hits in the 10-inning loss.
NEXT: River Cats (Vincent Mazzaro) at 51s (Heath Totten), 12:05 p.m. today