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Aviators reeling after four-loss homestand versus Bees

Updated: May 26, 2021

A series that included just about everything including towering home runs, spectacular plays in the outfield and ejections, resulted in Las Vegas coming out of the week two games under .500.

The Aviators lost four of six at home to the Salt Lake Bees this past week.

Las Vegas is now 8-10 on the year and are headed toward their longest road trip of the season.

During the upcoming road trip, the Aviators will play 12 games.

Six at Sacramento, who the team is 4-2 against this year and six at Albuquerque, who the team has yet to play this year.

Thursday, W, 16-8

Las Vegas got the much needed win to open the homestand but the team had to do it largely in part without the presence of manager Fran Riordan.

Riordan was ejected in the second inning of the team’s 16-8 win over Salt Lake Thursday night.

After what appeared to be a triple was ruled a home run, Riordan came out of the dugout to argue the decision. With no review available, the umpiring crew got together and came out of the huddle with the same outcome.

Riordan was visibly upset and was tossed from the game shortly thereafter.

Designated hitter Francisco Peña continued his hot streak, finishing a triple shy of the cycle. Coming into this series, he was three for his last six with three runs batted in and six total bases in his last two outings.

Pena went 3-for-4 with a home run, double, seven RBI, two runs scored and a hit-by-pitch against the Bees. He entered the game with six RBI on the season.

In just his third game with the Aviators, infielder Vimael Machîn went 3-for-4 with a double, two RBI and three runs scored, a strikeout and a walk.

He came into the game 1-for-9 with a triple.

The Aviators scored in six of the eight innings they were up to bat, scored at least two runs in five of those innings and scored three or more in three of those innings.

Starter Grant Holmes avoided disaster as he finished with a no-decision after going 4 ⅔ innings, allowing seven runs on seven hits while striking out five and walking two.

He now has a 10.95 earned run average for the year.

PItcher Tanner Anderson got the win in relief.

Friday, W, 12-6

A golden opportunity in the second inning re-presented itself in the seventh inning resulting in a 12-6 win for the Aviators over the Bees Friday, May 21.

With the bases loaded and nobody out in the second inning, Las Vegas popped up three consecutive times leaving all three men on base.

However, the team had the exact same situation present itself five innings later in the seventh.

This time around, the Aviators sent 12 batters to the plate scoring nine runs on eight hits.

Seven players recorded an RBI with five recording at least two.

Outfielder Buddy Reed returned from suspension and went 3-for-4 with two RBI, three runs scored and a walk.

He is now batting .333 on the season.

Catcher Francisco Peña has been an integral part of the Aviator offense and this continued despite going 0-for-2 as he added to his team-lead in RBI adding two more to his total.

He now has 15 for the year.

Starter Paul Blackburn is still winless despite going six full innings allowing two runs on two hits, striking out four and walking one.

He is 0-1 and has a 3.71 earned run average.

Saturday, L, 11-5

After winning the first two games of the series, Las Vegas dropped game three to Salt Lake.

Aviators pitchers allowed the Bees to bat around in two different innings, scoring three runs in both frames, proving to be the difference.

Starting pitcher Brian Howard was chased after four innings of work where he allowed five runs to score on six hits. He also struck out three and walked three.

Howard was given the loss and now has a 6.59 earned run average for the season.

Highly touted prospect A.J. Puk ran into trouble in the sixth inning as he allowed three runs on four hits while walking one and striking out none.

Puk has a 9.82 ERA in just four games with Las Vegas.

Outfielder Skye Bolt finished a single shy of the cycle, going 3-for-3 with a double, triple, home run, two RBI, three runs scored and a walk.

With two runners on in the seventh inning, infielder Jacob Wilson was ejected after being called out on strikes.

There were eight strikeouts on called third strikes, six went against the Aviators.

Wilson becomes the third Las Vegas player or manager to be ejected this year and the second in three games. Manager Fran Riordan was ejected in the second inning of Thursday’s game.

Sunday, L, 5-0

For the second time in eight days, the Las Vegas offense was shutout. More than that, the team was limited to just one hit in its latest game against Salt Lake.

Outfielder Buddy Reed walked to start the game but the Aviators would not have another baserunner until the seventh inning when shortstop Pete Kozma reached on an error.

Outfielder Cody Thomas recorded the team’s first hit with a double in the eighth inning with two outs.

Starting pitcher Parker Dunshee went six full innings, allowing four runs on five hits, striking out eight while walking out.

Dunshee retired the first nine batters of the game and was perfect entering the fourth inning before giving up his first hit of the game on a RBI single by infielder Kean Wong.

He is now 0-3 on the year.

Monday, L, 8-5

From the very beginning, the Las Vegas Aviators made it clear they wouldn’t be in fear of being no-hit.

However, a big sixth inning from the Salt Lake Bees still kept the team from going above .500 on the season.

Right fielder Greg Deichmann singled in the first Vegas at-bat of the night. He would later come around to score on a double by second baseman Vimael Machin.

Deichmann also scored an outfield assist that saved a run in the second inning. It was his second outfield assist of the year.

Three of the next four Aviator runs came via solo home runs by center fielder Skye Bolt, designated hitter Francisco Peña and first baseman Frank Schwindel.

However, the Bees sent 10 men to the plate in the sixth inning scoring seven runs in the process.

Starter Daulton Jeffries went four innings, allowing seven hits but nothing else as he struck out one.

Reliever Matt Milburn was given the loss after allowing six runs (five earned) on six hits in just 1 ⅓ innings of work.

The Aviators are now 8-9 on the year.


It was announced that Las Vegas Ballpark will be operating at 100 percent capacity beginning as soon as June 1st.

The team’s first home game after that proposed date is Thursday, June 10 against the Reno Aces.

No masks are required for fully vaccinated fans.

Tuesday, L, 12-0

The Bees scored in five straight innings en route to beating the Aviators, 12-0, in the series finale.

Las Vegas lost the series 2-4 and are now 8-10 on the year.

Starter Grant Holmes got a second crack at the Salt Lake lineup however, his latest outing was shorter than the first time around. Holmes was chased after four-plus innings pitched, allowing three runs (two earned) to score on two hits with three strikeouts.

The biggest cause for concern was his five walked batters resulting in 90 pitches thrown with just 48 of them being called for strikes.

He now has an earned run average of 10.47 for the year.

Reliever A.J. Puk had another rough outing after allowing four runs on four hits during his 1 ⅓ innings pitched.

Over his last two innings pitched, Puk has allowed seven runs on eight hits, allowing two home runs in the process.

Puk’s ERA is now 14.40 for the season.

On a positive note, all four of his outs in his latest outing were strikeouts.

Position player Nate Mondou took the mound for the ninth inning for the second time in the last seven days.

The Las Vegas offense was shutout for the third time this season and for the second time in three games.

It was shut out three times all of the 2019 season.

As a team, the Aviators went 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position.

Manager Fran Riordan was ejected for the second time this series after arguing with home plate umpire Aaron Higgins after the eighth inning.

In addition, it was the team’s first loss in its Reyes de Plata’s uniforms. Vegas is now 1-1 this year in those threads.


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