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Aviators play the Aces even on the road, split 6-game series

Updated: Jul 16, 2021

All things considered, splitting a six-game series with the best team in the division by nearly 10 games has its positives and negatives.

Part of it means the Las Vegas Aviators played well enough to take three games on the road against the Reno Aces.

However, it doesn’t do much for the team in the standings.

Las Vegas ends the road trip to Reno 3-3 after taking three of the first four games of the series.

The season series is now 7-11 with 11 more games to play this year.

Thursday, L, 1-0

An early error resulted in a 1-0 loss to the Aces for the Aviators in the opening game of this six-game series.

Starter Jesus Luzardo (0-2) was cruising along before allowing a one-out single in the third inning.

Immediately following, third baseman Drew Ellis reached on an error by Las Vegas third baseman Vimael Machîn.

Ellis came across to score on a sacrifice fly one batter later to put Reno up 1-0.

Luzardo pitched 4.2 innings, allowing one unearned run on three hits while striking out four and walking two.

The Aviators missed every opportunity thereafter to tie and potentially take control of the game as they had four situations with two runners on with one out or less and came away empty.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, the team had runners on second and third with one out and proceeded to strikeout back-to-back times.

In the fifth inning, Las Vegas had two runners on with one out and struck out again before grounding into a fielder’s choice to end the frame.

In addition, the Aviators had two runners on with nobody out and grounded into a double play and struck out to end the inning.

Lastly, it occurred again in the seventh inning with another two runners on and nobody out.

After laying down a sacrifice bunt, Las Vegas drew a walk but only between two more strikeouts.

As a team, the Aviators struck out 13 times.

Friday, W, 12-10

Center fielder Cody Thomas continued to stay hot leading a power-filled performance for Las Vegas, resulting in a 12-10 win over Reno.

Thomas went 4-for-5 including the game-winning double with two home runs, four runs batted in and three runs scored.

He hit two of the four home runs with designated hitter Carlos Perez and catcher Austin Allen.

The Aviators scored in six straight innings, notching home runs in three straight to extend their lead to 10-3.

However, the Aces scored seven runs through the last third of the game to tie the game at 10 and send it into extra innings.

Relief pitcher Argenis Angulo flirted with disaster as he was knocked around for three runs on four hits in just ⅓ an inning of work.

Closer Domingo Acevedo was also tagged for three runs on three hits in just one inning of work.

Acevedo was given his second blown save and his second win of the season.

The late blunders nearly wasted a brilliant start from pitcher Daulton Jefferies, who went six full allowing three runs on two hits while striking out seven and walking one.

Reliever Zach Jackson got his first save of the season.

Saturday, W, 7-3

It was a come-from-behind winning effort for the Aviators resulting in a 7-3 win over the Aces to take a 2-1 lead in this six-game series.

Catcher and leadoff hitter Carlos Perez hit a grand slam as part of a five-run 10th inning for Las Vegas.

It’s Perez’s second grand slam hit this season.

Second baseman Nate Mondou tied the game at two apiece in the ninth inning on an RBI single with one out.

Las Vegas fell behind early after a two-run first inning from Reno.

To open the fourth inning, center fielder Cody Thomas hit a double but was stranded after two groundouts and a strikeout.

The Aviators didn’t tally their first run of the game until left fielder Marty Bechina hit his first Triple-A home run in the fifth inning.

Pitcher Brian Howard had another strong outing for Las Vegas starters, going five full innings, allowing two runs on three hits while striking out one and walking two.

Reliever James Naile (4-0) was credited with his fourth win of the year.

Sunday, W, 16-5

The Aviators blasted the Aces, 16-5, to improve it’s winning streak to three games.

Seven different Las Vegas players recorded two or more hits including three home runs.

Right fielder Greg Deichmann was the only player with a three-hit day, going 3-for-4 with a home run, three RBI and three runs scored.

Fellow outfielder Cody Thomas also had a three-RBI day joining Deichmann as the only Aviators to accomplish the feat on this day.

Catcher Francisco Peña hit his ninth home run of the season in the first inning of this one to open what would be a four-run first for Las Vegas.

Peña went 2-for-4 with that home run, a team-high four RBI and three runs scored.

Left fielder Marty Bechina only recorded one hit but it was his second home run in as many games.

He went 1-for-4 with that home run, two RBI and a run scored.

Starting pitcher Miguel Romero was not included in the decision after allowing one run on three hits while striking out three and walking four.

Converted-reliever Grant Holmes (1-1) got his first win of the year after going 1 ⅔ innings, allowing one run on three hits.

No other reliever pitched more than an inning.

Monday, L, 7-5

Two days after scoring a come-from-behind victory, the Aviators were beaten by the Aces in a comeback effort.

The loss brings an end to the team’s three-game win streak.

Las Vegas led 3-2 until the bottom of the third where Reno took the lead for good.

The next inning, the Aces added two more insurance runs.

Reno scored in three of the five innings against starter Paul Blackburn, who gave up six runs (four earned) on nine hits while striking out three and walking two in five innings of work.

Blackburn drops to 3-4 on the season with a 4.76 earned run average.

First baseman Francisco Peña had a near perfect day going 3-for-4 with a double, a home run, an RBi and two runs scored.

It was his 10th home run and 30th run batted in this season.

Catcher Carlos Perez went 2-for-5 with two home runs, two RBI and two runs scored.

He was the only Aviator player two record multiple runs batted in.

Tuesday, L, 9-7

A comeback effort from as many as five runs down, the Aviators fell short, losing 9-7 to the Aces in the series finale.

The team battled through three hit batters in order to tie the game at seven after a four-run sixth inning.

Two RBI doubles in the frame helped Las Vegas come back from a 7-3 deficit after their starting pitcher had been pulled from the game the inning prior.

Left-hander Jesus Luzardo had an issue with control as he was unable to get through five innings for the fourth time in Triple-A this season.

One of those was a spot start on a rehab assignment from the Athletics.

He pitched 4.2 innings, allowing seven runs on seven hits while striking out one and walking four to go along with three hit batters.

Reliever Zach Jackson was given the loss after allowing two runs off two hits in 0.2 innings of work.

He is now 1-1 on the year with a 3.97 ERA.

Designated hitter Francisco Peña was 3-for-3 with an RBI, a walk and a run scored before making the last out of the game.

Second baseman Nate Mondou and right fielder Greg Deichmann were two of four other Aviators to record two hits.

Mondou went 2-for-4 with two doubles, an RBI, a run scored and a strikeout.

He currently leads the team with a .347 batting average.

Deichmann went 2-for-5 with two doubles, an RBI, a run scored and a strikeout.

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