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Aviators riding wave into Sugar Land for six with the Skeeters

Updated: Sep 8, 2021

Las Vegas lost four of six games on the road to the first place team in the Eastern Division of the Triple-A West, Sugar Land.

This includes now being on a three-game losing streak for the Aviators.

Four of the six final score totals were five or less with four games being decided by one run and no game decided by more than two.

The rough series sends Las Vegas to 58-50 on the year, still good for third place in the Western Division of the Triple-A West.

The team is six games out of first place and four games out of second; however, the teams in the top two spots have switched places.

The Tacoma Rainiers are now first while the Reno Aces have slipped to second place.

The Aviators will host the Aces for six-games from Las Vegas Ballpark beginning Thursday, Sept. 9.

Thursday, L, 3-1

A solo home run from first baseman Carlos Perez was not enough to keep the Aviators from falling 3-1 to the Skeeters in the series opener.

Perez hit his solo shot in the second inning to give Las Vegas a 1-0 lead.

Then with two-on and none out, the Aviators were unable to push anymore runs across.

Sugar Land responded with four of its 10 hits in the bottom of the second to take a 2-1 lead.

Another run was added on an RBI sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fifth to push the lead to 3-1.

Las Vegas starter Kyle Friedrichs (1-1) was tagged with the loss after allowing three runs on six hits in five innings of work. He also struck out six and walked two.

Friedrichs was outdueled by Skeeter starter Hunter Brown, who improved to 4-0 after pitching six innings, allowing one run in four hits.

He also struck out six and walked two.

Friday, W, 6-5

Despite trailing 4-1 early, Las Vegas bounced back to take game two of six against Sugar Land, 6-5.

An early 1-1 tie was broken with a three-run third inning for the Skeeters.

Aviators starter Brian Howard settled down for the most part after that aside from giving up a solo home run in the fifth inning.

Howard exited the game after working five innings, allowing five runs on six hits with five strikeouts and three walks.

Las Vegas pitching allowed one hit the remaining four innings of the game. Which made room for a comeback, albeit with some help from Sugar Land.

The comeback effort started with a solo shot from first baseman Francisco Peña to cut it to 4-2, Skeeters.

It was Peña’s 21st home run of the year and 69th RBI, both good for second on the team.

Peña went 2-for-5 with a single, home run, RBI and run scored.

A wild pitch later that inning scored another when catcher Aramis Garcia crossed the plate.

It was more Sugar Land misfortune in the sixth inning when shortstop Nick Allen reached on an error allowing Garcia to score again. Garcia ended with a 2-for-3, two singles, a walk and a run scored stat line.

Allen had an RBI groundout in the eight inning, scoring center fielder Luis Barrera to tie it at five apiece.

Despite going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts during the night, Allen had perhaps the game’s two biggest RBIs.

His contact moved second baseman Pete Kozma over to second base.

Kozma scored on the second single of the night from right fielder Mickey McDonald, who went 3-for-5 on the night.

McDonald also doubled earlier in the game.

Reliever Aaron Brown got his third save of the year after pitching a perfect final 1 ⅔ innings, tallying a strikeout along the way.

Fellow reliever Ben Bracewell (5-1) got the win after working 1 ⅓ innings, giving up just one hit while recording two strikeouts.

Saturday, W, 4-3

Needing three unanswered runs in the last two innings of the game, Las Vegas made it back-to-back wins over Sugar Land with a 4-3 win Saturday night.

The Aviators scored all of its runs in the last three innings of the game.

It began with an RBI sacrifice fly from third baseman Vimael Machîn, scoring right fielder Mickey McDonald to make it 2-1 in favor of the Skeeters.

Down two runs in the eighth, shortstop Pete Kozma smacked an RBI double into the outfield, knocking in catcher Aramis Garcia.

At that point, it was 3-2 Sugar Land.

Kozma went 1-for-4 with that RBI double.

Left fielder Carlos Perez had the game-changing at-bat with his two-run home run in the ninth inning, scoring McDonald again.

McDonald had a 2-for-4 night with two singles, a walk, a strikeout and two runs scored.

As for Perez, he added to his team lead in home runs and RBI with 27 and 76 respectively.

His home run gave Las Vegas it’s first lead of the game.

Starting pitcher Miguel Romero got the no-decision despite pitching six strong innings, allowing two runs on five hits with eight strikeouts and two walks.

Reliever Zack Erwin was given the win after a perfect ⅔ of an inning, recording a strikeout in the process.

He moves to 3-0 on the year.

Relief pitcher Ben Bracewell got his third save of the year and his second in as many games when he allowed just one hit in his one inning of work.

Sunday, L, 3-2

Las Vegas jumped out to an early first inning lead but it was not sustained as the team fell short in a 3-2 loss to Sugar Land tying the series at two with two more to play.

Catcher Carlos Perez hit a two-run home run with one out in the first inning to open the scoring for both teams.

It was his 28th home run of the year as he added two more RBI along the way for 78 total on the season.

Both lead the team.

Perez went 2-for-3 with a single, home run, strikeout, two walks, two RBI and a run scored.

He was the only Aviator player with multiple hits.

The first seven Skeeter batters were retired in order with the team tallying only two hits before the fifth inning.

In that fifth inning, Sugar Land tied the game at two on two more hits.

The contest remained tied until the ninth inning where a double opened the half frame. An RBI single scored the runner and ended the game in walk-off fashion.

The Skeeters never recorded more than two hits in an inning.

Starter Brady Feigl pitched 4.2 innings, allowing two runs on four hits while recording three strikeouts to go along with three walks.

Reliever Aaron Brown suffered his first loss of the year after surrendering a run off two hits in his ⅔ innings of work despite his two strikeouts.

Monday, L, 3-1

The Aviators had another early lead but fell short yet again to the Skeeters, 3-1.

Las Vegas’ lead was short-lived as shortstop Nick Allen hit an RBI single, scoring left fielder Luis Barrera, in the second inning as the No. 9 hitter.

Allen was one of two batters to go 2-for-4 with two singles, RBI and a strikeout.

Center fielder Buddy Reed was the other.

In the bottom of the second, a Sugar Land run scored on an RBI groundout however when catcher Drew Butera reached on an error, the second run of the inning scored.

Aviators starter Homer Bailey (1-4) allowed three runs (two earned) on three hits in five innings of work. He also struck out three but walked five. The last run came off a solo home run in the fifth inning to put Sugar Land up 3-1.

Bailey is now 0-4 in his last five starts with Las Vegas after securing his first win.

He was outdueled by Skeeters starter Peter Solomon as he improved to 8-0 after working six innings, allowing one run on six hits.

Tuesday, L, 2-1

Another low scoring affair resulted in a third straight loss for Las Vegas, losing 2-1 to Sugar Land in the series finale.

It was also the third straight game where the Aviators scored first.

Right fielder Luis Barrera hit an RBI single to former Aviator Jacob Wilson in left field in the fourth inning.

His hit scored catcher-turned first baseman-turned left fielder Carlos Perez.

Before that run, the first eight Las Vegas batters were retired in order with no hits being tallied until Perez’s single earlier that inning.

The game-tying hit came via a Sugar Land home run in the bottom of the fourth.

Starting pitcher Kyle Friedrichs allowed just one run on three hits in six innings with four strikeouts.

The 1-1 deadlock remained until a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the 10th by reliever Ben Bracewell (5-2), who suffered his second loss of the season.

Bracewell went 1 ⅔ innings, allowing one run on two hits with two strikeouts and two walks.

Las Vegas had runners on second and third with two outs but Perez grounded to shortstop ending the Aviators half of the 10th.


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