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Three straight late week losses results in second consecutive dropped series

Updated: Apr 8

The first full six-game series of the season wasn’t very pleasant for the Las Vegas Aviators as the team dropped four of the possible six en route to a second straight series loss.

Las Vegas suffered a three-game losing streak right in the thick of the near weeklong set before snatching the series finale to salvage the 4-2 split. This year’s team is now 2-6 on the season ahead of its two-week homestand set to begin Tuesday, April 9.

The next series is set to be a six-game series against the Salt Lake Bees of the Los Angeles Angels organization. First pitch in the series opener is set for 7:05 p.m. from the Las Vegas Ballpark.

As of now, the team is slotted in the last spot in the Pacific Coast League West division, sitting three and a half games behind first.

Tuesday, L, 12-11

Despite holding a lead for the first time this season, Las Vegas couldn’t pick up its first win of the year, dropping a second straight series opener.

Sugar Land scored six runs in its last two offensive innings to snatch the lead back from its opponent en route to the win. It was a two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to draw the Space Cowboys to within a run of tying the game at nine apiece.

An inning later, the team added four more runs including a two-run single and RBI single with two outs. Ten of the 12 Sugar Land runs were scored with two outs.

The Aviators took a 6-5 lead in the third inning on a wild pitch, counting as the team’s first lead of the season in an inning that saw 11 men come to the plate. Las Vegas ultimately led for five innings despite the loss.

Right fielder Stephen Piscotty hit a leadoff home run in the top of the third inning as part of his 3-for-5 night with a single, double and a home run resulting in two RBI and two runs scored.

Backup catcher Carlos Perez homered as a pinch hitter becoming the only other Las Vegas player to go deep in the game.

Starting pitcher Hogan Harris didn’t make it through a full inning after he was chased just two outs into his season debut. All five first inning-runs for Sugar Land were charged to Harris.

He’d go 0.2 innings, giving up five runs on three hits with a strikeout and three walks. After just one appearance this season, Harris holds an earned run average of 67.50.

In total, Las Vegas used seven pitchers with reliever Zach Jackson getting the loss and fellow reliever Tyler Ferguson being saddled with the blown save.

Wednesday, W, 6-4

It took until the second game of the second series but the Las Vegas Aviators have picked up their first win of the season.

Las Vegas bested Sugar Land, 6-4, Wednesday afternoon from Constellation Park in Texas. The home run ball told the story en route to victory with catchers Tyler Soderstrom and Carlos Perez homering along with first baseman Drew Lugbauer.

Perez has now homered in back-to-back games while Soderstrom also added his second dinger of the year.

Third baseman Brett Harris didn’t homer but was the lone Las Vegas player to record two hits on the day. He went 2-for-3 with a single, double, two RBI, a run scored, a strikeout and a walk.

Harris drove in a run in the top of the fourth two batters after Lugbauer rocket-launching lift to give the Aviators a 3-1 lead. In the top of the sixth, he added another run on an RBI double with two outs for another two-run cushion.

Starting pitcher Osvaldo Bido was an out away from becoming the first Las Vegas pitcher to turn in a quality start. He allowed two runs on five hits in 5 ⅔ innings of work with seven strikeouts versus just one walk.

Relief pitcher Billy Sullivan recorded the team’s first save of the season.

Thursday, L, 5-4

An early lead could not be sustained as the Aviators dropped the second of the first three games to the Space Cowboys, this time losing in walk-off fashion.

A leadoff walk to start the bottom of the ninth began to turn the tide. That runner would eventually advance to third on a fielder’s choice coupled with a throwing error.

Soon after that runner would cross home plate on the heels of an RBI single.

Sugar Land had to stage a comeback effort in order to secure the win, battling back from two runs down in the middle innings. Back-to-back run-producing innings tied the game after a solo home run in the fifth inning and an RBI walk in the sixth inning. In that latter inning, Las Vegas issued four walks in the frame including three straight to open the bottom half.

Reliever Zach Jackson was saddled with a blown save for the team’s second one in its last three outings. Fellow reliever Tyler Ferguson was given the loss, dropping to 0-1 on the year.

The Aviators had gained the lead after scoring runs in three straight innings beginning with an RBI single in the top of the third inning. An inning later, the team would tie the game at two apiece after another RBI single, this time with two outs.

Catcher Tyler Soderstrom was responsible for the last runs of the game for Las Vegas after his two-run homer in the top of the fifth inning. He has now hit home runs in back-to-back games while raising his season total to three.

Friday, L, 4-0

Just a single hit in the first shutout loss of the season for the Aviators as the Space Cowboys came away with a 4-0 win on Friday. The loss ensures nothing more than a series split for the visiting club.

Sugar Land jumped on the board with a two-run single with two outs in the bottom of the second inning. The lead runner reached on one of the two errors committed by Las Vegas.

Both remaining runs for the Space Cowboys came in the bottom half of the eighth. It was a leadoff hit-by-pitch that ultimately came around to score on a single plus the second error of the game by the Aviators to push it to 3-0.

Yesterday, it was an error that caused the walk-off loss for the team.

Starting pitcher Aaron Brooks got the loss again despite turning in the team’s first quality start with six innings pitched, giving up two runs on three hits. Both runs were unearned to go along with his four strikeouts and a walk.

Brooks is now 0-2 on the year despite having a 1.74 earned run average so far this season.

Signs weren’t good from the start for the Aviators after a leadoff walk and stolen base yielded nothing after a popout, flyout and groundout ended the inning.

The team’s lone hit of the game came in the third inning when Las Vegas loaded the bases with just one out. Another opportunity was averted after back-to-back lineouts ended the scoring chance.

Not much changed for the Aviators as the team pumped out five baserunners over the last seven innings of the game. Moreover, the team was retired in order four times, leaving seven players on-base with a 0-for-8 mark with runners in scoring position.

Saturday, L, 5-3

It will be a second straight series loss for Las Vegas after the team dropped its third straight game to Sugar Land. Missed opportunities plagued the visitors once again as it fell short in Texas.

The Aviators squandered a chance to score runs in the second inning after grounding into a double play with two runners on. An inning earlier, the team had a groundout end the frame with two additional runners on.

Las Vegas left 10 men on-base while going 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position.

The zero on the scoreboard was wiped away in the sixth inning with runners on second and third with nobody out. Back-to-back groundouts plated runs to cut the three-run deficit to just one.

Sugar Land responded quickly in the bottom of the sixth, knocking opposing starter Joey Estes from the game with two runners on and one out. Both runs would later score on an RBI groundout and RBI single.

Estes went 5.1 innings, giving up five runs on five hits with seven strikeouts and a walk. He is now 0-2 this season with a 9.64 earned run average.

Earlier in his outing, he was taxed for three runs, all off home runs. Two of those long balls were leadoff shots in the second and fourth innings.

Sunday, W, 10-6

In a final showing from Constellation Field, the Aviators torched future Hall-of-Famer Justin Verlander in his first outing of 2024, scoring in double-digits for the second time this season.

For the first time since Thursday, Las Vegas grabbed a lead in the top of the second inning behind a solo home run from catcher Carlos Perez and a two-run triple by third baseman Brett Harris.

Two more runs scored in the frame on back-to-back RBI doubles with the latter coming off the bat of center fielder Esteury Ruiz. He’s batting .368 in five Triple-A games this season.

In 10 games over the last two Triple-A seasons, Ruiz is averaging .384 in the batter’s box.

An RBI double from shortstop Max Muncy knocked Verlander out of the game for good in the fourth inning. He left after three-plus innings on the mound, giving up seven runs (six earned) on seven hits with six strikeouts and a walk.

For just the second time this season, Las Vegas put up double-digit runs in an outing. However, for the first time this season it resulted in a win.

The combination of Harris and Muncy went 6-for-8 with three singles, two doubles, a triple, seven RBI, four runs scored with a strikeout and a walk. Hitters six through nine all recorded two runs scored apiece.

That early lead netted against Verlander almost fully vanished after a four-run fifth inning that featured six straight one-out hits.

Starting pitcher Hogan Harris went 4.1 innings pitched, with four runs (three runs) on six hits to go along with five strikeouts and three walks. In two starts this season, he has a 14.40 ERA.

Relief pitcher Adrian Martinez got the win despite only recording two outs versus a run scored off three hits. He picks up his first win of the season about a week after being designated for assignment.

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