Las Vegas (34-32) managed to come away from a four game series with Intrastate rival Reno with a split in a short but high scoring home stand. Despite the 51s being outscored 32-28, the games featured two fine pitching performances. Tuesday night’s game was won by Sean Gilmartin who scattered nine hits and only gave up 1 run in 8.2 innings, just needing a last out assist from Josh Edgin to close out the 2-1 victory.
Thursday night saw a comparable effort by Logan Verrett who pitched 6 scoreless before the bullpen chipped in. Unlike in Gilmartin’s start though, the Vegas offense provided plenty of support for Verrett.
The scoring began in the bottom of the second with a single by first baseman Johnny Monell. Right fielder Travis Taijeron followed with his 11th homer of the season to left center. With one out, shortstop Gavin Cecchini doubled to center. Catcher Nevin Ashley drew a walk, and both runners moved up a base on a sac bunt by Verrett. Second baseman Dilson Herrera picked up both runners, driving them in with a line drive double.
In the bottom of the third, third baseman Eric Campbell tripled to the gap in left center. Taijeron doubled with one out to plate Campbell. After a walk to center fielder Roger Bernadina, Cecchini collected his second consecutive double, picking up two RBI, and advanced to third on the throw home. When Ashley grounded to first, Reno first baseman Kyle Jensen threw home too late to cut down Cechhini who scored to top off the second four run tally in as many innings.
Vegas scored their ninth run in the bottom of the fourth when Campbell singled, moved to second on an error, and came around to score on a single by Bernadina.
In the meantime, Verrett gave up only 2 hits in his six innings of work. He walked 5, but got big outs when he needed them. He was called for a balk in the second with runners on first and second and two outs, but got a ground ball to first for the last out. A double play in the fourth erased another walk. Herrera made a diving catch of a soft liner to short right in the fifth that could’ve been trouble.
Seth Lugo took over in the seventh and worked two scoreless innings. He was helped by a double play in the seventh. Paul Sewald took the mound in the ninth and gave up three singles allowing Reno to plate their only run. But he initiated Vegas’ third double play of the game to close it out in the ninth.
Campbell went 2-4 with a triple and two runs scored. Taijeron was 2-4 with a home run, 2 runs scored and 3 RBI. Cecchini was 2-4 with two doubles, two runs scored and two RBI. Verrett pitched six scoreless innings, giving up two hits in his first start of the season after returning to Las Vegas from the Mets. Brandon Nimmo was only 1 for 5 but that extended his hitting streak to 13 games. Box Score
Injury Note: T.J. Rivera was placed on the 7-day disabled list before the game with a hamstring injury.
The 51s will head to Salt Lake City Friday to start an 8-game road trip.
(photos by Jennifer Nieves)