In a season where the Las Vegas 51s (29-46) are 17 games under .500, it comes down to finding bright spots wherever possible. After losing the first two games of the four-game series to the Salt Lake Bees, Vegas finally put together both some offense and pitching.
Right-hander Ricky Knapp started for the 51s and logged seven solid innings, giving up three runs on six hits, and walking only one to earn the win. He improved to 3-9 on the season.
The Vegas offense got off to a good start, scoring three in the bottom of the first. Left-fielder Victor Cruzado led off with a single and came home on a home run by Centerfielder Matt Reynolds. It was Reynold’s second home run in as many games. Shortstop Amed Rosario followed immediately with a booming triple to center. A one-out double by catcher Kevin Plawecki plated Rosario to put the 51s up 3-0.
Knapp only really struggled in the second, giving up two runs to allow the Bees to get within one. But the offense answered those two Salt Lake runs by scoring one in the second and two in the third. With two out in the second, Cruzado singled and stole second base. Reynold drove him in with a single to left. In the third, first baseman Dominic Smith launched a homer to left center. Plawecki followed with a walk and came around via a single by right fielder Travis Taijeron, and a double play. He scored on a wild pitch to extend the 51s lead to 6-2. Every 51s batter had at least one hit in the game. Knapp allowed one more run in the sixth. He gave up a double and a single, and a run scored on a double play. The Vegas defense was sharp turning two double plays. Second baseman Gavin Cecchini also made a leaping grab of a liner in the second.
Hansel Robles pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth to notch his second save since being sent down by the Mets.
Top Performers: Matt Reynolds went 3-4 with a home run, three RBIs and a run scored. Victor Cruzado was 2-3 with a walk. He stole a base and scored two runs. Dominic Smith hit his 8th home run of the season. Amed Rosario tripled and scored a run. Ricky Knapp earned his third win with seven solid innings.
Vegas will go for a series split on Sunday, sending recently signed right-hander Mitch Atkins to the mound.