Updated: Aug 8, 2022
Things continue to slide downhill for the Las Vegas Aviators after this past week where the team suffered its first six-game series sweep.
The sweep came at the hands of the division-leading Reno Aces despite the entire series coming from the Las Vegas Ballpark. It’s the second time the team has been swept in the last 16 days and the third time this season as a whole.
Overall, the Aviators have lost seven straight games and are 2-13 since the All-Star break.
Las Vegas came into this most recent series two and a half games out of first place in the Pacific Coast League West standings. After the six straight losses to the division leader, the team is now eight and a half games back.
The Aviators are 5-13 against the Aces this year.
With all six losses coming at home, Las Vegas drops to 28-26 this season from LVBP as it will turn its attention back to the road for a 10-game road trip that will span 11 days including travel time.
The trip begins with a seven-game series with the Tacoma Rainiers of the Seattle Mariners organization which includes a makeup game from May 28.
First game is slate for Tuesday, Aug. 9 with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
Tuesday, L, 4-1
The deficit in the PCL West standings continues to grow as Las Vegas dropped its 12th game in 15 outings.
Las Vegas lost, 4-1, to Reno to open a six-game series from the Las Vegas Ballpark, sliding further back in the standings.
Starting pitcher Zach Logue managed to keep things close while on the bump for the home team after a shaky first inning.
Four straight Aces batters reached base with one run coming across the plate to put Reno on the board. By the third inning, Las Vegas trailed 3-0.
Logue worked around leadoff hits in the second and fourth inning, leaving those runners stranded. In the fifth inning, he produced his first 1-2-3 inning of the ball game.
With that, his night was over allowing two runs on seven hits in five innings pitched with four strikeouts and no walks. At the time of his departure, Las Vegas was down 2-1.
Logue (3-3, 6.14 ERA) is coming off a July where he went winless in three starts, racking up a couple of losses. He had a 10.66 ERA during that stretch.
Reliever David McKay lost control of things out of the game nearly after a 1-out solo home run added another run to the board for Reno. He followed it up with a walk, the first of three combined walks for the Las Vegas relievers.
Another run would eventually be added to the road team’s total for a 4-1 advantage.
The Aviator offense was delayed as the team didn’t score its first run until the fourth inning. Right fielder Luis Barrera led off the inning with a single and would reach home plate on a double play at first and second base.
Third baseman Sheldon Neuse recorded two of the team’s six hits on the night, going 2-for-4 with two singles and a strikeout. It's only his third game back with the team after a month-plus long stay in the Major Leagues.
First baseman Billy McKinney accounted for the only Las Vegas extra-base hit of the night, smacking a two-out triple to right field in the ninth inning. He would be left stranded on-base.
Wednesday, L, 7-4
The excitement surrounding the first Las Vegas start for JP Sears was sucked from the building as the Aviators fell 7-4 in the second of six scheduled games against the Aces.
Coming in, Sears had a 1-1 record in the minors this year with a 1.67 ERA. For his career, he has a 2.86 ERA in the minor leagues in 77 games played.
Moreover, he had a perfect 3-0 mark at the Major League level with the New York Yankees with a 2.05 ERA.
Sears mowed down the first two Aces of the game and held the visitors without a hit until the eighth batter stepped into the batter’s box.
The fourth inning saw him work around a leadoff single. An inning later, it appeared he would do it again but manager Fran Riordan opted to pull him from the mound, an out away from being eligible for the win.
His replacement, Parker Dunshee, only threw six pitches before the seventh one was taken deep to tie the game at two apiece.
The real trouble came in the final two innings of the game where Las Vegas top relievers Garrett Acton (1-2, 0.56 ERA) and Domingo Tapia (0-0, 1.71 ERA) were attacked by Reno batters.
The pair combined to give up three runs on six hits in just an inning and a third of work. Acton was saddled with the loss as the Aces put up five runs in the final two innings.
Center fielder Cristian Pache recorded his first three-hit night as an Aviator, going 3-for-4 with three singles.
Left fielder Luis Barrera went 2-for-3 before being pulled from the game for a defensive replacement in the top of the sixth inning. Before leaving, Barrera tallied an RBI single and a double.
Designated hitter Matt Davidson accounted for the team’s lone home run of the night, hitting his 19th of the year (11th with Las Vegas) in the third inning to put the team up 2-0 at that point.
Davidson’s swing extended his hit streak to eight games, with 22 total bases during that time. He is now up to 40 RBI on the season.
Las Vegas has lost four straight meetings against Reno and now trails by two and a half games in the PCL West division.
Thursday, L, 15-1
Four straight losses have the Aviators reeling, clinging onto a winning record just one game away from returning to .500.
Three of those four losses have come as part of this six-game series against the Reno Aces, who the team most recently lost to by a final score of 15-1.
This year’s Aviators team is 5-10 against the Aces and now trail the team by five and a half games in the PCL West. Additionally, the team now only holds a two and a half game lead over the Salt Lake Bees, who are in the third place in the division.
Reno scored in six consecutive innings beginning in the third and ending in the eighth. This included scoring two or more runs in five of those innings highlighted by back-to-back four-run frames.
Starting pitcher Collin Wiles saw his first glimpse of trouble in the third inning after retiring Reno in order through the first two innings of the game.
In the third inning, the Aces were able to scratch across two runs on two separate RBI groundouts to give the road team the 2-1 edge.
An inning later, Wiles served up a leadoff home run that added to the deficit for Las Vegas.
More trouble followed in the next two innings in the form of a two-run single in the fifth followed by a two-run ground rule double in the sixth.
Wiles (8-7, 5.45 ERA) pitched five-plus innings, giving up nine runs (seven earned) on eight hits. After going 3-0 with a 3.25 ERA in five July starts.
The next two Reno batters to come to the box drove in runs as part of a trend that has seen the Las Vegas bullpen struggle to contain leads or stay competitive in games as of late.
Relievers Aaron Brown and Brian Howard combined to give up six runs on 10 hits in three innings of work with two strikeouts and two walks. Both gave up home runs, with the latter becoming the third of the three to allow home runs.
Las Vegas was held to three hits until the eighth inning after being held without a hit for long stretches on two separate occasions.
Seven straight Aviators were sat down between the third and fifth innings before a walk broke the streak. Another one was immediately started as the team went without a baserunner for nine more batters consecutively.
In the bottom of the first inning, Las Vegas was able to load the bases with nobody out on the heels of back-to-back walks. A double play would plate one run and would serve as the lone run scored in that scenario.
An inning later, the Aviators recorded their second straight leadoff hit, only to leave it stranded after having two-on with nobody out.
It wasn’t until the eighth inning when Las Vegas tallied back-to-back hits for the first time of the night. They came with two outs as a groundout ended the threat.
Three straight strikeouts ended the game.
Shortstop Sheldon Neuse kept swinging a hot stick, going 2-for-3 with a single and a double with a walk. He is now batting .417 in 17 games with Las Vegas this season.
Friday, L, 6-5
For the second time in three games, Reno scored five runs in the final two innings of the game to steal a win away from Las Vegas and take the fourth straight game from Las Vegas Ballpark.
The final score was 6-5 after the Aviators held the lead for the first seven innings of the game.
Las Vegas is now 5-11 against Reno this year having lost the first four of this six-game series. Overall, the Aviators have lost five straight games and 11 of their last 13.
After leading the PCL West division for 47 days, Las Vegas sits leveled at 51-51 on the year. The team is now six and a half games behind Reno for first place in the division.
The Aviator bullpen crumbled again after a masterful start that provided the team its largest lead of the series at four runs.
After going without allowing an earned run through his first 10 games with Las Vegas, reliever Garrett Acton has now allowed runs in back-to-back appearances, allowing two runs on two hits in one inning of work with two strikeouts.
With a chance to save the game for the Aviators, Acton opened the ninth inning with a strikeout before serving up a single soon after. That one-out baserunner stole second base and made it to third on a throwing error.
Acton would settle down and push the Aces to their last strike of the game before pinch-hitter Dominic Miroglio launched the go-ahead home run to give the road team the win. That was Reno’s fourth home run of the game.
Reliever Jacob Lemoine was the first out of the bullpen and had two home runs hit off of him in the eighth inning during his one frame outing. He allowed three runs on three hits while recording two strikeouts.
Eight of the nine Aces hits were extra-base hits.
Starting pitcher Jared Koenig worked around the four that he surrendered, managing to make it seven full, giving up just one run while compiling six strikeouts to two walks. He left the game with a 5-1 lead, in line for the win.
The game opened with a leadoff home run off Koenig before he found his rhythm. At one point, he sat down nine Reno batters in a row. After breaking that streak with a hit, he punched out back-to-back hitters.
It wasn’t until the sixth inning before Koenig issued his first walk of the night.
The Aviator offense used leadoff hits in the first three innings of the game to jump out to a 3-0 lead as two of them came around to score.
By that point, catcher Shea Langeliers already had two RBI singles. Not long after, he’d pick up his third hit in the first five innings.
Langeliers finished the night 4-for-5 with four singles, two RBI, a run scored and a strikeout with a runner in his final at-bat as the second out of the bottom of the ninth.
His strikeout was the first of two straight that ended the ball game.
Third baseman Matt Davidson was the runner left stranded in the ninth inning on a night where Reno failed to retire its former member. Davidson was claimed by the Oakland Athletics after electing free agency once he was designated for assignment by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Davidson only recorded one hit on the night with a single in the fifth inning. He walked once but was hit-by-pitch three times on the way to two runs scored.
Saturday, L, 12-3
For the first time since April 28, the Las Vegas Aviators have a sub .500.
Reno dumped Las Vegas, 12-3 in the fifth game of a scheduled six from the Las Vegas Ballpark. Now the team will head into Sunday attempting to fight off being swept in a six-game series for the first time this year.
It was six more eighth inning runs by the Aces that put the game out of reach. Through five games this series, Reno has scored 13 eighth inning runs in addition to five ninth inning runs.
Las Vegas reliever Brian Howard entered the game in the top of the eighth and walked into a firestorm. The six batters he faced all reached via a walk, single, RBI double, two-run single, and single. There was also a wild pitch thrown into the mix.
Howard would be pulled from the mound while failing to produce an out. He left after allowing five runs on four hits and a walk. This series, he has given up seven runs on seven hits while issuing two walks.
Howard has a 8.24 ERA this season.
Pitcher Ken Waldichuk got his first start with Las Vegas after being part of that trade less than a week ago with the New York Yankees. He had problems with the leadoff man in his debut while earning the loss.
A leadoff single came around to score on a two-out, two-run home run by Reno left fielder Stone Garrett. Though not a home run, another leadoff single crossed the plate for a run after a two-out RBI single to put the road team up 3-0.
Waldichuk’s lone moment of success with the leadoff man occurred in the third inning when he left a leadoff single stranded on-base. The following inning the inning’s opening batter reached on error and after tallying the first out of the frame, his debut was finished.
Waldichuk left the game after 3.1 innings of work, yielding three runs on five hits with three strikeouts. Prior to the start, he had a 6-3 record in Double-A and Triple-A this season with a 3.59 ERA in the latter league.
The Las Vegas offense manufactured three two-hit days for batters, two of which recorded RBIs.
With two-on and one out, second baseman Nate Mondou knocked in a run on a single to put the Aviators on the board. Mondou went 2-for-3 with two singles, an RBI and a walk.
In addition, Las Vegas was gifted a run in the bottom of the eight inning after four walks in five batters. Center fielder Cristian Pache was credited with the RBI on his walk as part of his 2-for-2 night with two singles, two walks and an RBI.
Shortstop Kevin Smith added the team’s third and final run on an RBI sacrifice fly.
Sunday, L, 11-7
More firsts for Las Vegas and none of them good as the team was swept in a six-game series for the first time this season following an 11-7 loss in the Sunday finale.
A crowd that saw four lead changes at Las Vegas Ballpark eventually watched Aviators reliever Garrett Acton blow his third save of this series.
Fellow reliever Adam Kolarek handed out back-to-back walks in the top of the eighth inning before being yanked from the game.
Runners would advance on a sacrifice bunt before Acton would give up the go-ahead three-run home run to put Reno up, 9-7. Of the 18 runs given up by Las Vegas pitching this series in the eighth inning or later, Acton is responsible for eight.
Reno would tack on another two runs in the ninth inning after serving up a two-out triple and home run. Acton entered the series with a 0.49 ERA this season and now has a 2.82-mark after his three appearances at the LVBP.
Kolarek was given the loss on the night.
Pitcher Zach Logue made his second start of the series, earning another quality start.
He worked around some early hits through the first two innings of the game as his offense was able to provide him with a 3-run cushion.
That lead was wiped away in the top of the third inning when five straight Reno hits opened the frame including an RBI single and two-run home run.
Logue would give up another two runs in the fifth inning as Las Vegas fell behind for the first time on the night.
After allowing another in the sixth, Logue was pulled after five-plus innings where he gave up six runs on 12 hits while striking out one and walking two.
The Aviators had it going on offense for one of the few times this series and it was on full display in a fifth inning where the team launched three home runs.
It was back-to-back dingers by right fielder Cal Stevenson and third baseman Sheldon Neuse to start the festivities.
For Stevenson, it was his second home run of the game and his third hit through the first five innings. He ended the night 3-for-5 with a double, two home runs, three RBIs and two runs scored. This series, he hit 9-of-22, good for a .409 batting average.
Neuse’s home run came as part of a 3-for-5 night as well where he tallied two singles, a home run, an RBI, a run scored and a strikeout. He is batting .429 with Las Vegas this season.
Second baseman Nate Mondou was responsible for the third and final home run of the inning as he powered the ball to deep center field, similar landing as the first two.
Mondou’s homer was a two-run shot during his 2-for-4 night which included a single, a home run, two RBI, two runs scored, a strikeout and a walk.