Aviators clinging to first place after losing 4 of 6 to Bees
Updated: Jul 19, 2022
The slimmest of leads is what the first place Las Vegas Aviators have now following a series loss to the Salt Lake Bees.
Las Vegas dropped four of six from Las Vegas Ballpark to a third place Salt Lake team. The only two wins for the home team came in the series opener and series finale.
Strikeouts proved to be the biggest problem for the Aviators, striking out 63 times in the six-game stretch including 53 during the four-game losing streak in between wins.
Oakland Athletics top prospect Shea Langeliers missed the final three games of the series after being named to the MLB Futures Game during the league’s all-star break. Langeliers was named the MVP of the game after a 1-for-2 showing with a home run and RBI while also throwing out a runner heading for third base.
Las Vegas is now 8-10 against Salt Lake this season with no more games to play between the two clubs.
Additionally, the Aviators are now 28-20 from home this season and 49-40 overall. Reno sits a half game behind Las Vegas while Salt Lake is now seven and a half games behind the top spot. in the Pacific Coast League West.
A nine-game road trip over the next 12 days is to come for the Aviators with the first stop a three-game trip to Texas to play Round Rock.
The Express has taken five of the first nine games against the Aviators this season.
First pitch is scheduled for 5:05 p.m. Friday, July 22.
In between, Las Vegas will have four days off for the first time this season.
Tuesday, W, 10-4
It was a trio of home runs that sparked a 10-4 win for Las Vegas over Salt Lake in the series opener from Las Vegas Ballpark.
Second baseman Max Schuemann hit his first home run of the year in his first Triple-A game of the year, scoring first baseman Dalton Kelly, who was hit by a pitch to give the Aviators a 5-3 lead in the fourth inning. Las Vegas would never lose the lead.
Schuemann hit .315 with seven home runs and 34 RBI with Double-A Midland this season.
He went 1-for-3 with a home run, two RBI, two runs scored, a strikeout and a walk in his Triple-A season debut.
Catcher Shea Langeliers added the team’s second home run of the fourth inning when he went deep for two runs for his 16th shot of the year, which leads Las Vegas.
That was the lone hit of the night for Langeliers in five trips to the plate with a strikeout to his record.
Finally, right fielder Vince Fernandez’s solo blast marked the third long ball of the half inning for the home team, giving the Aviators an 8-3 lead.
Fernandez has now homered in three straight games and is up to 11 homers on the year, good for second on the team.
He went 2-for-3 with a single, home run, RBI, run scored and a strikeout.
Las Vegas hit four total home runs on the night with the first coming in the bottom of the first inning off the bat of center fielder Cristian Pache. His dinger counted for two runs and also marked his first big fly with the Aviators.
Pache went 2-for-4 with a single, home run, two RBI, two runs scored and a walk. He is now batting .364 in eight games played with Las Vegas this season.
Starter Collin Wiles turned in another quality start performance, marking the fifth straight time that’s happened. In 16 games started this year, he has recorded 15 quality starts.
Wiles (7-6, 5.30 ERA) pitched six innings, giving up three runs on eight hits with four strikeouts to zero walks.
He is now 4-1 in his last five starts including a 2-0 record in July with a 2.25 ERA.
Wednesday, L, 15-8
Las Vegas starting pitching coughed away a lead set up behind early home runs en route to a 15-8 loss Wednesday night against Salt Lake.
Center fielder Cristian Pache got the home team out on the right foot with a solo home run with two outs in the first inning. He has now homered in back-to-back games on the way to a 2-for-5 night with a double, home run, two RBI, run scored and two strikeouts.
While the Bees tied the game in the top of the second inning, third baseman Nate Mondou followed Pache footsteps knocking home a solo blast with two outs in the bottom half of the frame.
That was Mondou’s third long ball of the year as he would later add to his stat line.
Pitcher Jack Cushing just couldn’t get out of his own way as he served up three straight singles with the final one tying the game at two apiece.
The decision to walk Salt Lake third baseman Kean Wong, who homered in the first inning, came back to haunt Cushing after first baseman Matt Thaiss scored Wong along with two others on a double to put the road team up, 6-2.
Overall, Cushing allowed seven straight Bee batters to reach base before being yanked from the mound.
He would end the night with seven runs allowed (six earned) on seven hits in two-plus innings of work. In six starts this year, he is 1-3 with a 14.14 ERA including an 0-2 record with a 16.03 ERA in three July starts.
Las Vegas would get three runs from three straight batters in the third inning, the first of which was scored off a fielding error by Salt Lake.
Catcher Shea Langeliers drove in his 44th RBI of the year on a single to make the game 7-4 ahead of another RBI single, this time from first baseman Billy McKinney. Last night, McKinney drove in two runs on a single in the fifth inning.
Mondou made his presence felt again with another run-producing hit, this time an RBI single scratching the Aviators to within one run but that was as close as they would get.
However, the bullpen combination of Brian Howard and Adam Kolarek combined to give up four runs on three hits in the sixth inning.
Furthermore, the duo of Grant Holmes and Aaron Brown united to allow four more runs on five hits in three innings of work.
Thursday, L, 2-0
A weather delayed start to the third of six scheduled meetings between Las Vegas and Salt Lake, saw the home team go cold as the road team was bolstered by pop in the bat from the same person.
First baseman Jose Rojas proved to be the lone thorn in the side for Aviator pitching as he went deep twice, beginning with a solo shot in the top of the third inning with two outs.
He followed it up with another four-bagger two innings later in the same scenario, nobody on with two outs.
Both blasts came with two strikes.
Additionally, both blasts came off Las Vegas starter Parker Dunshee, who went five innings, giving up those two runs on five hits while striking out three and walking two.
Dunshee (3-8, 7.31 ERA) had his two-game win streak snapped after securing both wins in relief appearances. He has not won a start since May 4.
In all fairness, Dunshee was given zero run support from Aviator batters as the team suffered its fifth shutout loss of the season.
At one point, Las Vegas had 10 straight batters retired in order between the third and sixth innings.
Designated hitter Jonah Bride reached three times and picked up two of the Aviators four hits.
Bride went 2-for-3 with a single, double and walk. He is now hitting .393 with a 1.075 OPS in 16 Triple-A games this season.
Friday, L, 6-3
Extra-base hits did Las Vegas in again as it lost its third straight game, falling 6-3 to Salt Lake Friday night.
Catcher Chad Wallach laced a laser shot to right center field to open the scoring and put the road team on top 3-0 in the second inning.
The Bees nearly had another homer in the fifth inning but had it overturned after a review.
That was the only real blemish on the ledger for Aviator starting pitcher Zach Logue, who went 5 ⅔ innings pitched, allowing three runs on six hits with a strikeout and two walks. Over his last six starts, he tallied 30 total strikeouts.
In addition, he has logged a quality start in six of his last eight outings.
Logue (3-2, 5.17 ERA) was given the loss for his efforts, signifying his first loss since June 10.
Las Vegas only had three hits through the first four innings of the game before left fielder Mickey McDonald’s RBI single put the team on the board in the bottom of the fifth inning. That marked the team’s first run since the eighth inning of Wednesday’s game.
The Aviators would load the bases in the seventh inning with one out before scoring a run on an error for the second time this series. That came just before two strikeouts ended the team’s comeback bid in the inning.
Las Vegas would get another shot an inning later when it scored another run on an RBI triple from right fielder Vince Fernandez. That proceeded three straight strikeouts to get Salt Lake out of the inning.
To compound matters, the Aviators struck out in order in the ninth inning, putting the finishing touches on a 16-strikeout night.
Saturday, L, 11-0
An 11-0 shutout loss for Las Vegas means a guaranteed series loss to Salt Lake as the team still clings onto first place in the PCL West.
The Bees used power once again as it came in with eight home runs through the first four games of this series before adding another four in this one.
Those four home runs started with two dingers in the top of the first inning including another one from first baseman Jose Rojas, who entered the day 7-for-19 in the series.
Starting pitcher Adrian Martinez gave up his third home run of the game in the top of the third inning as the Aviators fell behind 5-0. Four of the five runs to that point by the road team came with two outs in the inning.
Martinez has now given up three home runs in a game twice this season.
It wasn’t until the fourth inning where Las Vegas was able to induce its first 1-2-3 inning.
Home team relievers had a tough day beginning with Ryan Castellani, who gave up two runs on an RBI double and RBI single. He would leave the game with the bases loaded and two outs.
Salt Lake’s Kean Wong scored two runs on a double which was charged to Castellani. Earlier in the game, he went deep for the second time this series.
The Aviators just couldn’t get the ball to bounce in their favor as reliever Grant Holmes opened the top of the seventh with a strikeout but the batter would reach on a wild pitch.
That runner would come around to score as part of a two-run home run by left fielder Jake Gatewood, who took Holmes deep for the second time in four days.
Las Vegas got its first hit of the game from No. 9 hitter Drew Jackson in the bottom of the third inning before he was rung up in a double play.
Center fielder Cristian Pache hit a leadoff double in the bottom of the fourth but would be stranded after a lineout and two groundouts in succession.
More blown opportunities followed as the Aviators had two on with nobody out before flying out and striking out back-to-back times to shut the frame.
Left fielder Max Schuemann suffered the same fate as Pache after doubling with two outs in the seventh inning before being left stranded.
Third baseman Nate Mondou also was stranded in the bottom of the eighth inning after singling to get on base. He was followed by three straight strikeouts.
In fact, all final six outs of the game for Las Vegas came via the punch out.
The Aviators struck out 12 total times on the night for 53 strikeouts in the last four games.
Sunday, W, 6-1
The only two wins of the series for Las Vegas came in the opener and finale of the six-game set, capped by a 6-1 win over Salt Lake Sunday night.
The Aviators came alive late, just in time to capture its fourth win in their last 10 outings.
Just seven outs from the team’s fifth straight loss, second baseman Max Schuemann walked and stole a base before third baseman Mickey McDonald put runners at the corners via a single.
The red-hot Jonah Bride took a second pitch over the wall for a three-run blast to give Las Vegas the 3-1 lead, the team’s first and last lead of the game.
Bride went 2-for-4 with a single, home run, three RBI, a run scored and a strikeout from the designated hitter spot in the lineup.
An inning later, it was back-to-back singles before the first out of the half frame. Three pitches later, left fielder Cal Stevenson hit his first Triple-A home run of his career on the way to a 1-for-3 night with a home run, three RBI, a run scored and a walk.
Pitcher Garrett Acton snatched a six-out save after pitching a perfect two innings with two strikeouts for his second save of the season.
He still has a 0.00 ERA in 14 innings pitched with two runs scored, both unearned.
Fellow reliever Sam Selman got the win to improve to 2-0 on the year, pitching a hitless two innings recording a walk in the process.
Starter Collin Wiles had his streak of five straight quality starts snapped after being ejected after three innings of work. During his outing, he gave up a run on four hits while striking out four and walking none.
Wiles now has 15 quality starts in 17 outings this season.