The 51s feature the Pacific Coast League’s leading hitter in Ty Kelly, top run producer in T.J. Rivera and one of its best pitchers in Gabriel Ynoa.
All three players stepped up again for Las Vegas in Tuesday’s 8-5 victory over the Oklahoma City Dodgers before a sellout crowd of 9,427 at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
Ynoa improved to 5-0 while submitting his seventh straight quality start for the 51s, Kelly went 3-for-5 to lift his league-leading average to .413 and Rivera drove in three runs to increase his PCL-best RBI total to 34.
The 51s enter Wednesday’s scheduled off day on a roll after winning the last three games of their series at Oklahoma City and eight of 11 overall.
“We’re starting to play a lot better,” Las Vegas manager Wally Backman said. “A lot of these guys didn’t get to play together in spring training. It’s taken a little while for these guys to come together as a team.”
Ynoa allowed three runs on seven hits in six innings as his ERA rose from 1.77 to 2.09, which is still good for second-best in the PCL behind Oklahoma City’s Julio Urias — MLB.com’s No. 2 prospect who has a 1.25 ERA and tossed six scoreless innings in the Dodgers’ 1-0 series-opening victory over Las Vegas.
Ynoa surrendered only his second home run of the season in the fifth inning, when James Ramsey hit a two-run shot.
“He pitched real well. He had a little hiccup in the fifth, but it was actually a good pitch. The wind was blowing out and a left-handed hitter went opposite field,” Backman said. “Other than that one pitch, he’s pitched real consistent all year for us.”
Oklahoma City second baseman Zach Walters, a Cimarron-Memorial product, doubled to lead off the second inning and scored on pitcher Logan Bawcom’s double to give the Dodgers a short-lived 1-0 lead.
The 51s scored twice in the third to go ahead for good and added three in the fourth and three in the seventh.
T.J. Rivera hit a two-run single in the third and added a run-scoring single in the fourth, when Danny Muno and Brandon Nimmo each drew a bases-loaded walk. Kelly drilled an RBI double in the seventh and Marc Krauss followed with a two-run homer.
Krauss is second on the team in homers, with seven, behind Dilson Herrera, who has eight. Kelly doubled twice among his three hits.
“I look up and every day he gets three hits, it looks like,” Backman said of Kelly. “Ty has done a great job for us and is a huge asset. He can play all the infield positions and all the outfield positions. He’s been a good addition.”
Rivera, who entered the day ninth in the PCL in batting, went 2-for-5 to raise his average to .341.
Ramsey added a two-run single in the ninth off of Jeff Walters.
Contact reporter Todd Dewey at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0354. Follow him on Twitter: @tdewey33.