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Aviators add another series win, take 4 of 6 from Isotopes

Updated: May 14, 2023

That makes it three series win in the last four chances for the Las Vegas Aviators, highlighted most recently by taking four of six away from the Albuquerque Isotopes.

With the four home wins from the Las Vegas Ballpark improves the team record in the Valley to 12-12 this season.

Overall, Las Vegas is now 19-20 on the year and are currently slotted in the third spot in the Pacific Coast League West outright but the division is still bunched up. Tacoma sits a game behind while Salt Lake sits three games out.

The Aviators are a game short of the Sacramento River Cats of the San Francisco Giants organization and four games behind standings-leading Reno Aces of the Arizona Diamondbacks organization.

Las Vegas will now return to the road for a six-game road trip against Salt Lake of the Los Angeles Angels organization. That series is set to begin Tuesday, May 16.

Tuesday, L, 9-6

With 14 of the 15 total runs in the game coming in the sixth inning or later, the Aviators dropped their series opener at home to the Isotopes, 9-6.

Las Vegas has now lost five of its last six and are 2-5 to start the month of May.

Pitcher Adrian Martinez got the start in the opener as part of his major league rehab but would not make it through two full innings. He faced a bases loaded situation in the first inning with just one out. Two of those baserunners reached on a walk and a hit-by-pitch. One run would eventually score on an RBI groundout for a 1-0 visitor lead.

An inning later, Martinez issued a walk and served up a single with two outs before being yanked from the mound by manager Fran Riordan in favor of reliever Miguel Romero. Martinez worked an inning and two-thirds, giving up a run on three hits with two walks on 37 pitches.

He was saddled with the loss.

Las Vegas relievers were pretty much knocked around for the better part of their portion on the mound.

Righty Aaron Wilkerson gave up a home run to the first batter he faced to start the sixth inning to give Albuquerque a 2-0 lead. Wilkerson would give up another home run with two outs in the inning.

Still on the mound in the seventh inning, Wilkerson would run into more trouble in the form of a two-run home run by Isotopes catcher Brian Serven for his second longball of the day. The prior run in the inning came on a fielding error by first baseman Dermis Garcia.

Most of the major noise from the Aviators came in the home half of the ninth inning as the team scored five of its six runs. Two of those runs came on a two-run home run with nobody out from Garcia for his lone hit on the night in four trips to the plate.

Third baseman Jonah Bride plated two more runs on a two-run double from the ninth spot in the lineup with one out to turn the order over. Overall, Las Vegas sent 10 men to the plate in the ninth inning while chasing pitcher Stephen Jones from the mound.

Center fielder Max Schuemann drove in the final Aviator run of the night moments after Bride’s run-producing swing, coming up with an RBI single of his own.

Wednesday, W, 5-3

After losing an early lead, Las Vegas rebounded to get a victory to get even against Albuquerque amidst this six-game series.

The win allows the Aviators to keep pace in the Pacific Coast League West.

Things began to go array when reliever Garrett Williams opened the sixth inning with a walk, hit-by-pitch and another walk. He allowed his first run moments after on an RBI walk to tie the game at two apiece.

Fellow reliever Garrett Acton came in and settled the situation on the way to a victory, improving to 5-1 on the year. He tossed two scoreless innings with two strikeouts during his outing.

Acton saved the day for starter Hogan Harris, who allowed a run on three hits in five innings of work with five strikeouts and a walk. Harris didn’t allow his first baserunner until he walked an Isotope batter with one out recorded.

In the fifth inning, Harris served up a single followed by a double to open the frame. Albuquerque’s first run scored on an RBI sacrifice fly.

Las Vegas regained the lead in the bottom of the seventh inning though it appeared to start bleakly after second baseman Zack Gelof’s leadoff double didn’t come around to score. Gelof was thrown out at home plate for the second out in the inning.

With two outs, catcher Kyle McCann singled to put two runners on-base. Both runs would come across to score on a two-run double by left fielder Max Schuemann to put the home team up, 4-2.

Schuemann went 4-for-4 with two singles, two doubles, two RBI and a run scored.

An inning later, Gelof got his retribution with an RBI double after a walk and an error put two runners on the pads. Gelof went 2-for-4 with two doubles, an RBI and a strikeout.

With a chance to shut the door, reliever Domingo Acevedo gave up back-to-back two-out singles as one run crossed the plate for a 5-3 Aviator lead.

Acevedo picked up his first save of the year as a result.

Thursday, W, 6-0

Manager Fran Riordan essentially was treated to three separate “starts” from his pitching staff as part of a shutout win Thursday night. It’s the first shutout for the Las Vegas pitching staff since August 10, 2021.

Pitcher Norge Ruiz made a spot start, his first of the year in his 13th appearance. Similar to Wednesday, Ruiz didn’t allow his first baserunner until there was one out recorded in the top of the third inning.

In fact, Ruiz retired nine of the 10 batters he faced on 31 pitches.

Long-reliever Joseph Wieland recorded the team’s first strikeout of the game in his first inning of work in the top of the fourth. After striking out an Albuquerque batter for the second out of the inning in the fifth, Wieland recorded his third strikeout in a four-batter span.

The Isotopes wouldn’t draw their first walk of the game until the sixth inning when second baseman Aaron Schunk, who was the same person responsible for the team’s lone hit to that point. At that point, pitcher Colin Peluse was on the mound for the Aviators.

Schunk went 2-for-2 with two singles and a walk. In addition, he was the only Albuquerque baserunner to reach scoring position but never advanced past second base.

With a two-out single in the top of the seventh inning, the Isotopes tallied its first hit since the third inning.

Four of the nine Las Vegas hits on the night were home runs as six total went for extra bases.

Designated hitter Yohel Pozo hit a solo home run with one out in the bottom of the second in his first at-bat of the series.

While working through an early pitching duel, the Aviators went without a hit until the bottom of the fifth inning when first baseman Trenton Brooks hit a solo shot. At that point of the game, both teams had compiled just three combined hits.

An inning later, left fielder Max Schuemann led off the frame with the team’s third solo dinger of the night for a 3-0 Las Vegas lead. This series, Schuemann has gone 8-for-13 with five singles, two doubles, a home run, four RBI and two runs scored.

Now leading 4-0, Tyler Soderstrom put the final nail in the coffin with a two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth. With that, Soderstrom extended his hit streak to nine games which ties right fielder Cody Thomas for the longest by an Aviator this season.

Friday, L, 8-4

Las Vegas lost a one-run lead in the last two innings of the game after staging a comeback of their own.

Starting pitcher Colton Eastman worked around a few baserunners in the first couple of innings but the real damage came in the third inning. He gave up a leadoff single followed by a double. From there, Eastman served up three straight RBI singles for a 3-0 Albuquerque lead.

Eastman (0-4) ultimately went six innings, giving up three runs on seven hits while striking out five without walking anyone. He is still winless in seven appearances and five starts despite having a 4.20 ERA.

Left fielder Trenton Brooks started the comeback with a leadoff home run in the bottom of the fifth on the first pitch he saw. He went 2-for-3 with a single, home run, RBI, two runs scored and a walk.

An inning later, center fielder Conner Capel was caught stealing for the second out of the inning after his leadoff single. After the baserunning out, right fielder Cody Thomas rocketed a triple into right field.

Capel came up big in the seventh inning with a three-run double to give the Aviators their first lead of the game at 4-3. This came on the heels of a leadoff walk followed by a single and walk with two outs to load the bases.

Capel went 2-for-4 with a single, double, three RBI.

Everything fell apart in the final two innings beginning with reliever Adrian Martinez after he allowed a two-out single and RBI double to tie the game at four apiece. He compounded matters with a hit batter, RBI double and RBI single to put Las Vegas down two.

Martinez was taken out after that and would eventually be charged with the loss. He is now 0-2 on the year with a 10.80 ERA.

In the ninth inning, reliever Billy Sullivan opened the inning with back-to-back walks and a single to load the bases. He’d be charged with the runs despite being yanked from the mound. The runs came around on an RBI sacrifice fly and a run on a throwing error from catcher Yohel Pozo.

Saturday, W, 7-6

For the first time this season, the Aviators have picked up a win in extra innings, beating the Isotopes, 7-6, Saturday night. Prior to this outcome, the team was 0-3 in extra inning games.

With a three-run lead and reliever Domingo Acevedo on the mound, Albuquerque opened the top of the ninth inning with a leadoff double, two-run home run and solo home run to tie the game at six in the blink of an eye.

In the home half of the ninth, Isotope pitching loaded the bases with a walk, double and intentional walk all before recording the first out of the inning. Third baseman Jonah Bride played hero with an RBI single despite the infield playing in to win the game.

Despite Acevedo’s blown save, he earned his first win of the season.

Designated hitter Seth Brown made his first appearance at Las Vegas Ballpark this season as part of a major league rehab stint from the Oakland Athletics. He singled in his first at-bat of the game in the first inning but would leave during his second at-bat after taking a big hack at a breaking ball on a 2-1 count.

Brown is making his return from an oblique injury that’s kept him out of action for the last month. He’d be pulled from the game.

Brown’s first inning single was the team’s lone hit for quite some time. After his injury in the fourth inning, by the end of it, the team had 10 straight batters sat down. That number would reach as large as 13 straight.

Bride tallied the second hit with a leadoff double in the bottom of the sixth. He’d come around to score on an RBI sacrifice fly from shortstop Max Schuemann, who recorded his fifth RBI of the series.

With the Albuquerque starter Josh Rogers out of the game, Las Vegas took its first lead of the game. In the bottom of the seventh, the Aviators opened with back-to-back singles followed by a three-run home run from right fielder Cody Thomas to give the home team a 4-3 lead.

After another single, the Isotopes would lift reliever Eli Lingos in favor of Tommy Doyle. Catcher Yohel Pozo would take Doyle deep on the second pitch he’d throw to add two more runs to the Las Vegas scoreboard.

Eight guys came to the plate in the seventh inning as the team built a 6-3 lead after trailing 3-1 heading in.

Sunday, W, 15-10

Las Vegas scored in each of the first four innings and in five of the eight innings, finishing off another series win, winning four of six against Albuquerque.

Runs came in bunches for the Aviators beginning in the first inning with two runs, one on a balk and one on an RBI groundout. At that point, the game was tied 2-2.

In the second inning, Las Vegas had three straight reach with one out via a walk, single and three-run home run by catcher Kyle McCann to break the tie.

In total, there were eight home runs hit Sunday afternoon with half coming from the home team.

Two more came in the third inning in a three-batter span beginning with a two-run blast from first baseman Tyler Soderstrom. Moments later, third baseman Jonah Bride joined in on the action with another two-run home run.

The Aviators batted around in the frame.

Bride drove in another run in the fourth inning for the second run of the frame. The first came across on an RBI sacrifice fly. He was driven in on an RBI single by McCann.

Shortstop Tyler Wade went 4-for-4 with three singles, a double, two runs scored and a walk from the eighth spot in the lineup. The trio of Bride, Wade and McCann combined to go for 9-for-11 with five singles, two doubles, two home runs, seven RBI, seven runs scored and four walks from the bottom third of the lineup.

Left fielder Trenton Brooks hit the final home run of the night for the Aviators on a three-run dinger in the bottom of the sixth inning to put the home team up 10.

The first inning where Las Vegas didn’t score was the fifth inning.

Pitcher Paul Blackburn started on the mound for his third rehab start this season and his first since mid-April. This start got rough early.

After two pitches, Blackburn found himself down 2-0 on the scoreboard after a leadoff single and a two-run home run. He’d surrender another home run to lead off the third inning. Not long after he’d be pulled from the mound.

Blackburn went two innings, yielding four runs on six hits with a strikeout and a walk. Over the last two games, he has allowed eight runs on 12 hits over four-plus total innings with four strikeouts and three walks.

His relief, Adam Oller, struck out the side in the fourth inning for his fourth straight strikeout. He eventually extended that stretch to five straight strikeouts.

Oller finished the game with nine strikeouts on the way to his first win of the year, giving up one run on one hit over four innings of work.

Pitcher Francisco Perez made his Las Vegas debut and was roughed up for five runs on four hits over 1 ⅓ of an inning. Converted reliever Colin Peluse covered the final inning and two-thirds with two strikeouts.


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