Homecoming set as Aviators return home to take on Isotopes
Updated: Jul 5, 2022
It took a Herculean effort in the series finale but the Las Vegas Aviators have their sixth series win of the season.
The Aviators took four of a possible six away from the Albuquerque Isotopes from Las Vegas Ballpark this past week. The team is 25-14 at home this season.
This series included everything from a 19-6 explosion that included 16 unanswered runs and two one-run decisions.
Las Vegas is now 41-30 on the year and still sit in first place in the Pacific Coast League West. Currently, the team sits three games ahead of the Reno Aces for the lead in the division.
Next, a three-game road series against the Round Rock Express will put that division lead to the test. That series is set to begin Tuesday, June 28.
The Aviators are 11-12 against PCL East teams this season.
First pitch is scheduled for 5:05 p.m.
Tuesday, W, 9-5
The fifth series opening win for the Aviators sent the team to their third straight win after beating the Isotopes, 9-5.
Las Vegas is now 10 games over .500 and are now 30-18 against teams in the PCL West.
A five-run fifth inning powered the win for the home team as plenty of players got in on the action.
Nine of the first 10 batters reached in the fifth inning which started with a leadoff home run from first baseman Austin Allen. He now has two home runs on the year.
Two batters later, right fielder Skye Bolt smacked an RBI single into left field. An inning later, he hit a solo home run, for his second of the year.
Las Vegas hit three home runs on the night including an eighth inning blast from second baseman Nate Mondou. That marked his first longball of the season.
The fifth inning included two other run-producing singles, first by third baseman Vimael Machín who drove in a run while shortstop Kevin Smith’s single plated two.
Machín’s RBI single was his second of the day after opening the scoring in the first inning with the same method.
Bolt, Machín, Allen and Mondou accounted for four of the five two-hit performances put forth by Las Vegas. Left fielder Billy McKinney was the other.
Starter Jack Cushing was dominant, allowing just one run off two hits in five innings pitched. He also recorded seven strikeouts and two walks.
Cushing’s lone blemish came off the bat of former Aviator Carlos Perez, who hit a solo home run in the fourth inning.
Perez won the Mayor’s Trophy, awarded to the MVP of the Las Vegas Aviators, in 2019.
Wednesday, W, 8-7
Las Vegas averted danger after a near ninth inning collapse but were able to squeak out an 8-7 win over Albuquerque.
The Aviators are now 12-9 in one-run games this season.
It was a decision by manager Fran Riordan to pinch-hit for first baseman Dalton Kelly, clearing the room for some heroics from Dermis Garcia.
On a 2-0 pitch, Garcia sent the ball over the wall for a three-run moonshot that put the home team up, 7-4.
That was his first at-bat of the series after sitting on Tuesday night.
Prior to that, catcher Austin Allen was the engine of the offense during his 3-for-4 night with a single, double, home run, four RBI, two runs scored and a strikeout.
Allen has homered in both of the first two games of the series. In addition, Las Vegas is 8-3 in games that Allen starts behind the plate.
Center fielder Luis Barrera had a night as well, recording two triples amidst a 2-for-4 night, driving in a run and scoring one. He also struck out once.
Starter Zach Logue (2-1) had a strong night but was taxed heavily by the 6-7-8 hitters in the Albuquerque lineup.
That trio of hitters went 5-for-12 with three home runs, driving in four runs in the process.
Logue went six full, giving up those four runs on nine hits with six strikeouts and no walks.
The ninth inning scare began after reliever Ryan Castellani walked three of the first four batters before being removed from the contest.
Reliever Garrett Acton had the first three reach, two of which by hit-by-pitches after entering the game.
With the bases loaded, Acton was able to get the game-ending double play.
The final play was ruled an infield fly however, designated hitter Carlos Perez was tagged out going for third.
Friday, W, 12-4
Five home runs, multiple in two separate innings, catapulted Las Vegas to a 12-4 win over Albuquerque in game four of six.
In the bottom of the first, the Aviators strung together six straight one-out hits, four of which extra-base hits including two home runs.
Designated hitter Vince Fernandez smacked a three-run home run, scoring right fielder Stephen Piscotty and third baseman Vimael Machín.
Two batters later, second baseman Christian Lopes added to matters with a two-run home run that scored first baseman Dermis Garcia.
That was Lopes’ first at-bat of the series
He also drove in a run on a single in the bottom of the fourth inning as he went 3-for-5 with two singles, a home run, three RBI, a run scored and two strikeouts.
Garcia also hit a home run in the bottom of the third inning for his third longball in as many games. He now has six RBI in three games this series after also recording an RBI single later in the game.
The home runs came in the seventh inning from catcher Shea Langeliers and shortstop Drew Jackson just two batters later.
Langeliers’ solo shot was his 13th of the year, good for the team-lead, in addition to his 34th RBI of the season.
Jackson’s home run was his first of the year and plated two including left fielder Mickey McDonald.
Garcia and Langeliers both finished a triple shy of the cycle, ending the night a combined 7-for-10 with four singles, two home runs, a double, three RBI, three runs scored and two strikeouts.
Piscotty had a night, going 3-for-3 with two runs scored in his first three trips to the plate.
The fifth inning was the first time the Aviators were retired in order.
On the other hand, Las Vegas starter Collin Wiles retired Albuquerque batters in order three times during his seven-inning appearance.
It’s his first time this season, throwing 97 pitches (61 strikes), giving up two runs on seven scattered hits.
Wiles (5-5) also struck out seven while walking none in the winning effort.
Over the last two games, he has struck out 16 while walking zero. In addition, he has recorded 22 strikeouts to just four walks in the month of June.
Saturday, L, 19-6
The largest loss of the season for Las Vegas came off the bats of a season-high eight home runs given up en route to a 19-6 loss Saturday night. This included 16 unanswered run in the middle innings.
Overall, Albuquerque has 16 home runs through the first five games of this series.
It started early as the third pitch of the game was taken over the wall as Aviators starting pitcher Adrian Martinez gave up a solo dinger.
That leadoff home run was hit by center fielder Wynton Bernard, who also took relief pitcher Norge Ruiz deep in the seventh inning.
The Isotopes hit home runs in each of the first three innings, all solo shots, however, the Aviators were only down 3-2.
Las Vegas took its first lead of the game in the bottom of the third on an RBI triple from right fielder Vince Fernandez, who already had an RBI single in the first inning.
Fernandez came around to score on a sacrifice fly from shortstop Kevin Smith.
He also scored another run in the ninth inning via a one-out solo home run, his eighth of the season.
Fernandez went 4-for-5 with two singles, a triple, a home run, three RBI, two runs scored and a strikeout.
Third baseman Vimael Machin also hit a solo home run in the fourth inning, for his fourth longball of the year.
The Aviators led 5-3 after four innings before 16 straight unanswered runs by the road team.
Martinez was lifted in the fifth but was charged with the tying two runs that crossed that inning, one of which came after he left the mound in favor of reliver Adam Kolarek.
He finished with 4 1/3 innings pitched, yielding five runs on seven hits while striking out six and walking three.
The three pitchers from the pen not named Kolarek combined to get knocked around for 12 runs (11 earned) on 12 hits in just 2 1/3 innings of work with four strikeouts and three walks.
Kolarek pitched a shutout inning, collecting a strikeout along the way.
The stats from that trio include the numbers of reliever Miguel Romero (0-1), who was given the loss.
He gave up four runs on two hits while issuing two walks while failing to record an out. Although, he was one of two pitchers that did not allow a home run.
Things got so out of hand that infielder Nate Mondou took the mound to close the game.
Mondou was tagged for two runs on one hit and a walk in 1 1/3 innings of work. That lone hit was a home run.
Sunday, W, 9-8
A night after a 19-6 drubbing with 16 straight runs, Las Vegas came back from down eight runs to steal a win in the series finale against Albuquerque.
The win included nine straight runs by the Aviators on the way to a 9-8 win from Las Vegas Ballpark.
Las Vegas was retired in order in three of the first four innings and had two total hits before scratching across the team’s first runs in the fifth inning.
That run came off an RBI triple from left fielder Luis Barrera and he would not be finished yet.
Barrera also hit an RBI double in the bottom of the eighth inning during the team’s historic comeback effort.
He has now collected 14 extra-base hits in 27 games played this season.
That four-run fifth inning also included RBI singles from outfielders Skye Bolt and Stephen Piscotty, who are both on rehab assignments from the Oakland Athletics.
Piscotty went 1-for-4 on the night with an RBI and went 8-for-21 in the series with the Isotopes.
For Bolt, he actually drove in the game-winning run in the eighth inning, where Las Vegas scored five runs and sent nine to the plate.
He went 3-for-4 with three singles, two RBI, a run scored and a walk. He now has 15 hits in 10 games played with the Aviators this season.
The team sent 10 to the plate in the fifth inning beginning with a single and eventual run scored from catcher Austin Allen and ending with his strikeout.
Allen also knocked in a run during the team’s five-run eighth inning on an RBI double.
He finished the night 3-for-4 with a single, two doubles, an RBI and run scored.
This series, Allen went 9-for-15 with three doubles, two home runs, seven RBI and five runs scored in four games played this series.
Pitcher Jack Cushing made his third career Triple-A start after tossing five innings of one-run ball on two hits.
He wasn’t as lucky in this one as he compiled 38 pitches in the second inning alone as Albuquerque batted around and plated five runs including a home run.
Cushing gave up another home run in the top of the fourth inning, this time scoring two runs.
He would give up five straight hits including two extra-base hits before exiting the game.
By the end of his outing, Cushing had gone 3 1/3 innings, giving up eight runs on 10 hits along the way. He also struck out one and walked one.
Through his first three career Triple-A starts, Cushing has gone 8 1/3 innings, yielding nine runs on 12 hits with one strikeout and one walk.