The 51s started Sunday with a 21-1 record this season when leading after eight innings.
Las Vegas appeared poised to improve on that mark when it entered the ninth inning with an 8-5 lead over Portland at Cashman Field. But the Beavers rallied for five runs, then held on for a 10-9 victory over the 51s, who saw their season-high four-game win streak end.
"It’s a tough loss when you give up five in the ninth," Las Vegas manager Mike Basso said. "We swung the bats and played good defense; we just weren’t able to get that last out."
Reliever Brian Wolfe (1-2) had his third blown save of the season and took the loss after allowing all five runs in the ninth, on four hits and a walk.
"It’s tough when the one ball that’s hit hard was a hit and the others were a couple broken bats and a little lob over (Randy) Ruiz’s head," Wolfe said. "It’s tough to go out like that, but it’s baseball. It happens."
Portland’s Mike Baxter led off the ninth with a single and went to third on Craig Stansberry’s double, which dropped into right field over the outstretched glove of 51s first baseman Ruiz. Chad Huffman drew a one-out walk to load the bases, and Vincent Sinisi followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 8-6 with two outs.
Luis Martinez reloaded the bases with a bloop single, and Matt Antonelli cleared them with a three-run double that chased Wolfe and gave Portland a 9-8 lead. Las Vegas left fielder David Dellucci dived for the sinking fly ball, but it appeared to glance off his glove.
"He went after it hard," Wolfe said. "He slid for it and almost made a great play. There’s nothing you can do about that. That’s just tough luck."
Sean Kazmar added an RBI single to make it 10-8, and the Beavers (34-37) hung on for the win after allowing a solo homer to Kevin Howard in the ninth.
Kazmar, a former standout shortstop at Las Vegas High School and the College of Southern Nevada, went 3-for-4 with a double, a walk and four RBIs, and he robbed Ruiz of a potential run-scoring single with a stellar defensive play in the eighth inning.
Ruiz, who leads the Pacific Coast League in doubles (26) and RBIs (63), went 3-for-5 with an RBI on Sunday and 9-for-13 in the four-game series to lift his average to .326.
Las Vegas center fielder Aaron Mathews went 4-for-5 with a double, two RBIs and two runs scored, and J.P. Arencibia and Angel Sanchez had two RBIs apiece for the 51s (30-41).
• NOTES — 51s infielder/outfielder Russ Adams was recalled by the Toronto Blue Jays, who optioned infielder/outfielder Joe Inglett to Las Vegas. Adams, who was placed on the disabled list with a fractured right hand May 10, was activated off the DL on June 11. … Left-handed pitcher Marc Rzepczynski was promoted to Las Vegas from Double-A New Hampshire, which also recently sent right-handers Sean Stidfole and Bubbie Buzachero to the 51s. … The 51s raised $11,400 for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Organization in Saturday’s Pink Out Night at Cashman Field.
Contact reporter Todd Dewey at email@example.com or 702-383-0354.PORTLAND 10
LAS VEGAS 9
KEY: The Beavers scored five runs in the ninth inning to erase an 8-5 deficit.
NEXT: 51s (LHP Brian Burres) at Tacoma Rainiers (LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith), 7 p.m. Tuesday