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Final homestand of season for Las Vegas begins with Tacoma

Updated: Sep 27, 2022

The previous success against the Tacoma Rainiers that the Las Vegas Aviators had early in the season didn’t matter in the latest series between these two teams.

Las Vegas dropped four of six to Tacoma despite playing at home inside of the Las Vegas Ballpark. The Aviators are now 34-35 at home.

It’s the first series loss to the Rainiers all season after the Aviators took 12 of the first 18 meetings this season.

The series of losses means the tragic number is now two for Las Vegas as it prepares to go up against the best team, statistically, in the Pacific Coast League West.

The Aviators will host the first-place Reno Aces for six games to close a 12-game homestand, the team’s final homestand of the season.

This year’s Las Vegas team is 7-17 against Reno in 2022.

That series is set to begin Tuesday, Sept. 20. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m. from the Las Vegas Ballpark.

Tuesday, L, 8-7

Both Tacoma and Las Vegas had two separate three-run innings as the Aviators battled back from down three runs twice.

Even with the comeback effort the difference came in the seventh inning as Las Vegas fell short, 8-7, in a game in which it never led.

The Raininers jumped out to a 3-0 lead behind an RBI single and two-run home run in the top of the second inning.

In the bottom half of the frame, first baseman Matt Davidson led off the frame with a solo home run for his 26th long ball of the season.

Corner outfielder Conner Capel and Dalton Kelly added runs on back-to-back RBI doubles with two outs in the inning to tie the game at three runs apiece.

Tacoma would strike again in the top of the third inning beginning with an RBI single with nobody out. Shortly after, second baseman Johnathan Villar plated two more runs on a two-run single. Villar was also responsible for the team’s first run of the game.

Las Vegas starter Zach Logue would be lifted after giving up those runs after working 2.1 innings, yielding six runs on five hits while walking three and failing to record a strikeout.

He would not get the loss after the Aviators battled back to tie the game once again in the fourth inning.

Kelly showed up again when he opened the fourth inning scoring with an RBI single with one out. The other runs in the inning scored on an RBI sacrifice fly from second baseman Nate Mondou and catcher Beau Taylor’s RBI walk.

After being tied for the second time in the game, Tacoma was bailed out by a two-run home run from shortstop Mason McCoy to give the visiting team its third lead of the ballgame.

The leadoff double and two-run dinger that inning came from the first two batters seen by Aviators reliever Garrett Acton. He is now 2-6 on the year with a 5.15 ERA after earning the loss after working one inning where he gave up two runs on those two hits while compiling three strikeouts.

The rally effort was short-lived as the lone additional Las Vegas run came off the bat of shortstop Kevin Smith who left the yard with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Wednesday, L, 8-7

For the third straight time, and second to Tacoma, Las Vegas has dropped its third straight one-run game. Every loss for the team this month have been one-run deficits.

Most recently, the team wound up on the wrong end of a 8-7 final score. The team is now 18-20 in one-run games this season.

The Aviators found themselves down 6-2 before fighting back to tie the game going into the ninth inning.

Three straight reached in the top half of the second inning as the final batter reached on an RBI single to put Tacoma up 1-0. Another run came across via a walk to make it 2-0 for the road team.

First baseman Matt Davidson hit his 27th home run of the year in the bottom of the third inning to tie the game at two apiece. He has now homered in back-to-back games to start this series.

Las Vegas’ first run of the game came on an RBI sacrifice fly from center fielder Luis Barrera.

Back-to-back doubles score a run with nobody out in the top of the fourth inning to break the tie. Relief pitcher Parker Dunshee entered the game and served up a two-run home run to the second batter he faced.

Rainiers second baseman Luis Torrens recorded his second of three RBI on an RBI single with one out in the fifth inning to push the Tacoma lead to 6-2.

Las Vegas designated hitter Jordan Diaz single handedly brought the team back in the seventh and eighth innings. He scored a run on an RBI groundout in the former inning while swinging for the fences for a three-run home run in the latter inning.

Diaz’s efforts produced the second tie of the game and the fourth of the series.

The rest of the runs were scored in the ninth inning when the Rainiers had two of its first four batters in the inning hit solo home runs including one by Torrens as the road team went up by two runs.

Aviators reliever Brent Honeywell Jr. dropped his third decision of the year to fall to 0-3 with a 10.45 ERA after giving up two runs on four hits in just 1.2 innings of work. He also recorded two strikeouts and a walk.

Left fielder Dalton Kelly aided Las Vegas the best way he could, pushing across the game’s final run on an RBI single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Thursday, W, 7-5

A late inning burst gave Las Vegas its first win of the series to improve to 13-8 against Tacoma this season. Aided by five Rainier errors, the Aviators came away with a 7-5 win.

Las Vegas scored five runs with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning beginning with a run scored on a wild pitch.

From there, second baseman Nate Mondou cut the deficit to a run on an RBI single.

Two batters later, left fielder Conner Capel tied the game at five apiece on an RBI double. He now has four RBI through his first five games played with the Aviators.

The final two runs of the game were scored on Tacoma errors.

That seventh inning saw Las Vegas not only capture its first lead of the game but it was the team’s first lead of the series.

In this one, the Rainiers hopped on the Aviators in the top of the first via a two-run home run with two outs in the inning.

Las Vegas battled back to tie the game in the bottom of the first and second innings. Designated hitter Matt Davidson drove in a run on an RBI triple to put the home team on the board. The other run came across during a double play groundout.

Starting pitcher Hogan Harris gave up a leadoff home run to break that tie but that was his last run allowed on the night. He left the game after working four innings, giving up three runs on five hits with five strikeouts and two walks.

Relief pitcher Jake Walkinshaw coughed up back-to-back leadoff home runs in the fifth and sixth innings. Both of which came on the first pitch Tacoma batters saw.

Still, Walkinshaw (1-0, 2.45 ERA) earned the win after giving up two runs on six hits in three innings on the mound. He also racked up two strikeouts and a walk.

Reliever Sam Selman picked up his sixth save of the season after striking out one and walking out in his scoreless inning of work.

Fellow reliever Hunter Breault picked up a hold in between Walkinshaw and Selman’s outings, picking up a strikeout in his scoreless inning pitched.

Friday, W, 9-3

Powered by a punch off several bats, Las Vegas put together back-to-back wins on the shoulders of three home runs. In addition, five of the team’s 10 hits went for extra-bases as part of a 9-3 win over Tacoma.

First baseman Matt Davidson made contact in the bottom of the first inning for the first of three home runs by the Aviators. It was a two-run shot with two outs in the inning that gave Las Vegas the 2-1 lead.

Davidson struck again in the bottom of the sixth inning when he took the first pitch he saw deep for his second home run of the night. By the end of the night, he went 2-for-4 with two home runs, three RBI, two runs scored and a strikeout.

Designated hitter Jordan Diaz accounted for the final Aviator home run of the night. His was a two-run blast that came in the third inning to push the lead to three runs. He finished the night 2-for-3 with a single, home run, two RBI, two runs scored and a walk.

Center fielder Skye Bolt and catcher Beau Taylor also drove in runs on a two-run double and RBI sacrifice fly respectively.

Las Vegas pitching held Tacoma to six hits on the night, keeping the Raininers off the board in every inning except the first and eighth.

Pitcher Miguel Romero went three innings in a spot start, allowing a run on four hits with three strikeouts.

Reliever Aaron Brown (7-4, 4.96 ERA) was credited with the win after working three innings where he gave up an unearned run while recording three strikeouts and two walks.

Saturday, L, 12-11

Las Vegas was once up five runs and up two again later but the team’s rally fell short in a 12-11 loss to Tacoma Saturday night.

It’s the seventh straight one-run loss for the Aviators, meaning every loss in the month of September has been decided by a run. Las Vegas is 6-7 this month.

Three straight singles opened the bottom of the ninth inning as an RBI swing from first baseman Dalton Kelly’s single.

With runners on first and second, the Aviators were turned away after recording three straight outs on a sacrifice bunt, fielder’s choice and groundout.

On the way to the loss, Las Vegas coughed up the lead two separate times.

Everything started with a two-run home run from shortstop Kevin Smith in the second inning on a 1-0 pitch to open the day’s scoring. Second baseman Nate Mondou added another run on an RBI single that scored right fielder Cal Stevenson to put the road team up, 3-0.

An inning later, it was Stevenson who went first pitch swinging, knocking in two runs on a single with two outs in the third.

Designated hitter Matt Davidson made another appearance this series, smacking his third home run in the last two days for Las Vegas in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Smith also homered again in that same frame on his way to a 5-for-5 night with three RBI while hitting for the cycle in the process.

Keeping consistent with the trend, Davidson homered again in the seventh inning for his 31st long ball of the season and his second of the night for the second straight night. That home run came on the first pitch of his at-bat.

Tacoma hit four home runs of its own on the night but none of which came against Las Vegas starter, Mason Miller, who was making his Triple-A debut.

Miller gave up just two hits in three innings of work in his debut with three strikeouts and a walk.

Once relieved, righty Brian Howard was taken deep by the fourth batter he faced. Fellow reliever, Garrett Acton, gave up back-to-back home runs to open the fifth inning as the Aviator lead dwindled to a run.

An RBI single and three-run double off left-handed reliever Sam Selman gave the Rainiers their first lead of the game.

With the lead once again, Las Vegas had things go array once more, this time with Hunter Breault on the mound.

Breault was hit for two runs on two hits in just ⅓ of an inning of work allowing Tacoma to tie the game once again.

However, the loss went to reliever Adam Kolarek (1-3, 5.73 ERA) after he gave up the deciding two-run single in the top of the eighth inning.

Sunday, L, 19-9

Las Vegas lost a lopsided series finale Sunday, 19-9, to Tacoma from Las Vegas Ballpark.

It’s the seventh double-digit loss of the season for the Aviators as the team has now given up 10 or more runs in 33 games this season.

Las Vegas gave up 20 hits on the night and trailed by 16 runs at one point.

Control was an issue early for starting pitcher Zach Logue as he recorded a hit batter, two walks and wild pitch all in the first inning. Tacoma was able to take a 4-0 lead that inning behind an opening inning grand slam.

In the second inning, Logue allowed three straight one-out hits with the last two producing runs via an RBI single and RBI double. By that point, the Aviators were down 6-0.

Logue would pitch into the fourth inning but ran into more trouble beginning with a leadoff home run. It got worse as he yielded an RBI double with two outs followed by a two-run home run for a 10-3 Rainiers start.

Logue left the game after 3.2 innings on the mound, giving up 10 runs on seven hits with two strikeouts and four walks.

Reliever Parker Dunshee didn’t have any better luck after entering for Logue. In the fifth inning, eight straight Tacoma batters reached at one point with six coming across to score.

An inning later, Dunshee coughed up back-to-back home runs to start the frame as Las Vegas fell behind 18-3. With that, Dunshee was done after working 1 ⅓ innings, giving up eight runs on eight hits with a strikeout and a walk.

Right-handed reliever Jacob Lemoine gave up a solo home run to the second batter he faced after receiving the ball after Dunshee. That blast provided the Aviators with their largest deficit of the night at 16 runs.

Catcher William Simoneit did what he could, recording RBI hits in two innings. The first came in the second inning on an RBI single to put Las Vegas on the board. The second came on an RBI double in the sixth inning. That inning he was also driven in on a two-run double by second baseman Nate Mondou.

Simoneit also scored a run in the seventh inning on an RBI groundout. He finished the night, 3-for-5 with two singles, a double, two RBIs and two runs scored.

Right fielder Vince Fernandez went deep in that seventh inning for the second Aviator home run of the night. Fellow outfielder Luis Barrera hit the first, going deep in the third inning for two runs.

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