Updated: Jul 5
Oklahoma City continues to look like a bad matchup for this year’s Las Vegas team as Minor League Baseball’s first half comes to a conclusion with another series loss for the latter.
Despite having a game canceled due to weather, the Aviators still dropped three of a possible five with the Dodgers but did take two of the final three games after the cancellation.
This season, Oklahoma City has taken eight of the 11 meetings between the two teams en route to capturing the title of winners of the MiLB season’s first half.
With the win, the Dodgers have already punched a ticket to the postseason as a win in the second half of the season would catapult the team into the Triple-A Championship. On the other hand, if anyone else wins the PCL’s second half of the season, that team will square off with OKC in order to compete in the title series.
Now the league will receive an extra day off as Las Vegas will prepare to open the second half of its season Wednesday, June 28 from the Las Vegas Ballpark against Round Rock of the Texas Rangers organization. Start time for the first game is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
That will be the first meeting of the season between the two clubs.
Tuesday, L, 10-5
Las Vegas has now lost five of its last six series openers following a second straight loss to Oklahoma City dating back to the two team’s last meeting.
While falling in this one by five runs, the Aviators lost two two-run leads along the way.
Designated hitter Tyler Soderstrom opened the day’s scoring with a two-run single with two outs in the top of the first inning for a 2-0 lead for the visitors. In the bottom of the second, Oklahoma CIty would respond with a two-run single of its own to tie the game at two apiece.
Las Vegas would net another two-run lead in the top of the fourth inning including one on an RBI single from first baseman Logan Davidson. This would be undone as two more runs would score in the home team’s half of the fourth inning.
An inning later, starting pitcher Kyle Muller uncorked a wild pitch that would give the Dodgers their first lead of the night. He’d serve up an RBI single to the next man before being yanked from the mound.
Muller went 4.2 innings, giving up six runs (four earned) on six hits with four strikeouts and four walks while receiving his second loss of the season.
Through the remaining 3.1 innings on the mound, the Aviator bullpen combined to essentially match Muller’s efforts, giving up four runs on six hits with two strikeouts and a walk. This stretch included back-to-back two out hits for runs in the eighth inning which put Las Vegas behind by six runs, its largest deficit of the night.
On offense, the Aviators had five of the nine leadoff men reach base but only two eventually came across to score. In the top of the seventh and top of the eighth inning, Las Vegas had shortstop Nick Allen and catcher Yohel Pozo reach on a leadoff single and leadoff double respectively. Both would later be left stranded on base.
Right fielder Cody Thomas drove in the team’s final run of the night on an RBI double with two outs in the ninth inning. That run driven in counted as Thomas’ 70th RBI of the season, which leads the Pacific Coast League.
Wednesday, L, 1-0
A recent low-scoring loss has sunk the Aviators to a three-game losing streak as they lost a third straight game to the Dodgers going back to the last series. Moreover, the team lost its 17th game by one run this season.
Starting pitcher Freddy Tarnok was terrific on the mound, coming out of the gates strong by retiring the first six batters he saw.
In the bottom of the third inning, OKC designated hitter Kole Calhoun smacked a leadoff double followed by a single to mark the first hits by the home team. Tarnok would soon get out of the jam with a popout, strikeout and groundout.
Tarnok went four innings of three-hit ball with two strikeouts.
The lone difference maker of the game came in the form of a solo shot by Calhoun in the bottom of the fifth inning off reliever Kirby Snead, who was given the loss.
Las Vegas went down for the most part without much noise as it had seven straight retired late in the game before two batters reached on an error and hit-by-pitch in the ninth inning.
Catcher Tyler Soderstrom had two of the team’s four hits in his four trips to the plate with one strikeout.
Thursday, Canceled (Weather)
Friday, W, 7-2
The Aviators picked up their first win of the series, beating the Dodgers by five runs in a Friday matchup from Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. The win marks the first victory for Las Vegas in its last four tries against Oklahoma City as the team improves to 2-7 on the year.
This game was scoreless until the fifth inning when second baseman Zack Gelof walked with one out recorded to set up a two-run home run by catcher Kyle McCann, who went 3-for-4 on the night finishing a triple shy of the cycle.
The same situation presented itself an inning later as center fielder Max Schuemann walked to start things then third baseman Jordan Diaz plated a run on an RBI single.
Two batters later, designated hitter Tyler Soderstrom flashed his power swing with a two-run home run to put Las Vegas up 5-0, its largest lead of the series.
The Aviators scored runs in four straight innings including a run on an error in the seventh and a two-out solo dinger from Gelof in the eighth.
Las Vegas tallied 10 hits on the night with four of them going for extra-bases. In addition, five of the team’s seven runs came from extra-base hits.
Starting pitcher Adam Oller (3-3, 6.75 ERA) picked up the win while going the longest of any Aviators starter this season with a 6 ⅔ inning-outing. He coughed up a run on three hits with six strikeouts and a walk.
Oller was backed up by a bullpen that gave up a run on two hits with 2.1 innings with a strikeout and a walk.
Saturday, L, 7-3
Las Vegas will endure another series loss to end the first half of the season after its most recent defeat at the hands of Oklahoma City.
Ultimately, it was bad starting pitching that ended the chances of an Aviator win Saturday evening.
It was a two-run ground rule double to give the home team a 2-0 lead. That went down as the Dodgers’ first hit of the game but its fifth base-runner. The first four baserunners all reached via walks.
Things wouldn’t stay that way for long as Oklahoma City strung together three straight extra-base hits in the bottom of the fourth inning for two runs on an RBI triple and RBI double.
Pitcher Adrian Martinez was roughed up for four runs on four hits in 3.2 innings of work with three strikeouts versus four walks. He is now 0-5 with a 10.53 ERA this season.
Las Vegas bright spot Cody Thomas went yard in the fourth inning to tally the first run for the road team. Fellow outfielder Max Schuemann did the same an inning later with two outs.
While both Thomas’ and Schuemann’s home runs cut the deficit in half at 2-1 and 4-2, an RBI single from left fielder Trenton Brooks with two outs in the sixth inning to make it 4-3. The Aviators would not inch any closer.
In addition, Oklahoma City put things more out of reach with a solo home run in the seventh inning and a two-run shot in the eighth inning.
Sunday, W, 10-6
A win in the series finale sends Las Vegas out of the first half on a high note, beating the winners of the MiLB’s first half in Oklahoma City.
En route to the win, the Aviators had to endure yet another blown lead before putting this one to bed for good.
The top of the fourth inning opened with back-to-back singles before another single, this time by right fielder Cody Thomas, plated two runs. Designated hitter Kyle McCann added another run on an RBI single of his own.
The Dodgers would match things in the bottom half of the frame with two RBI singles followed by a three-run double that gave the home team its first lead of the game.
However, it was a seven-run fifth inning that blew the game wide open for Las Vegas beginning with a leadoff home run from first baseman Logan Davidson. He wouldn’t be finished with his production, adding three more runs on a double from the same frame to really put things out of reach.
Davidson went 2-for-4 with a double, home run, four RBI, a run scored and a strikeout.
Third baseman Jordan Diaz gave Las Vegas the lead for good on a two-run single followed by an RBI single from catcher Yohel Pozo. Davidson’s first hit along with Diaz and Pozo’s run-producing hits came with no outs in the inning.
Pitcher Kyle Muller redeemed himself after making the first start of this series going four innings, allowing five runs on six hits with three strikeouts and four walks.
Las Vegas’ bullpen worked the final five innings, giving up just one run on seven hits with six strikeouts and a walk. Reliever Angel Felipe (1-2) earned his first win of the season.