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Aviators out of first place in PCL West after losing first series of year

Updated: May 23, 2022

Las Vegas pitcher Parker Dunshee delivers a pitch against Salt Lake. Photo Credit: Terrel Emerson

It took nearly eight full weeks for the Las Vegas Aviators to lose their first series of the season. However, it couldn’t have come at a more inopportune time.

After coming into its most recent six-game road series against the Reno Aces in first place in the Pacific Coast League West, Las Vegas lost four of six to its intra-state rival.

Now, the team has lost seven of 12 to Reno this year and currently sports a 9-9 road record this year.

The Aviators entered the week in sole possession of first place in the division but now sit just below the Salt Lake Bees (23-19) with a 22-20 overall record.

The season-long 12-game homestand continues with a road trip to Tacoma for a six-game series against the Rainiers.

Tuesday, May 24 marks the start of the series with first pitch scheduled for 11:35 a.m.

Tuesday, L, 14-6

Las Vegas gave up 10-plus runs for the sixth time this season and the fourth time in the last seven days, losing the series opener against Reno Tuesday night.

The Aviators were beaten, 14-6, by the Aces, from Greater Nevada Field in Reno, Nevada.

Reno used three separate four-run innings to snatch game one of six against Las Vegas

A leadoff walk started the downslide in the first inning immediately followed by a two-run home run off starter Parker Dunshee.

Las Vegas was down 3-0 before recording the second out of the inning. A sacrifice fly scored the final run of the inning, sending the Aviators into the second inning down 4-0.

In the bottom of the fifth, another leadoff man reached this time off a double. This time it was followed by a walk and then a three-run blast to put the home team up four again.

With that, Dunshee was done.

Dunshee (1-3) went 4.1 innings of work, allowing seven runs on four hits (two home runs) while walking four and striking out two.

He has now lost two straight decisions.

The final four-run inning came in the bottom of the eighth inning, this time against the Las Vegas bullpen.

The offensive highlight of the night came in the form of back-to-back-to-back home runs for the club in the top of the sixth inning.

First baseman Matt Davidson was the first solo shot, marking his first longball as amember of the Aviators.

He now has nine home runs on the year and is tied for fourth in the Pacific Coast League. Teammate Shea Langeliers is second in the league with 12 home runs.

Designated hitter Dermis Garcia followed suit with a roundtripper for his fourth of the season.

In the series finale against Salt Lake, Garcia went 3-for-5 with a single, double, home run, three runs batted in and three runs scored.

Finally, center fielder Billy McKinney finished the trifecta of homers, securing his first of the season in just his second game with Las Vegas.

All home runs came with two outs in the sixth inning.

McKinney found himself in the middle of most of the action for the Aviators.

He scored on a sacrifice fly from second baseman Christian Lopes in the top of the third to open the scoring for the road team.

In addition, McKinney drove in two runs on a single in the top of the fourth inning.

He went 3-for-3 with two singles, a home run, three RBIs, two runs scored and a walk.

McKinney finished the night as the only player on either side to have a perfect batting night.

Wednesday, L, 12-4

It’s now back-to-back losses for Las Vegas while being outscored 26-10 in the process.

Most recently, it was a 12-4 loss to Reno in game two of six from Greater Nevada Field.

It’s the seventh time the Aviators have allowed 10 or more runs and the fifth time in the last eight games.

Five Reno home runs set the pace as all but two of the team’s runs were scored off the longball.

It was four solo blasts and a grand slam that ultimately led to the downfall for Las Vegas.

That grand slam came as part of a seven-run sixth inning that gave the Aces the lead for the first time.

By that point, Reno had hit three of its eventual five home runs.

The first three home runs were hit off starting pitcher Collin Wiles, who dropped his second game in his last three outings.

Wiles (3-3) was taxed for seven runs off eight hits in 5.1 innings of work, tallying a strikeout while walking two.

He has now allowed five home runs in his last two appearances and sports a 5.63 earned run average.

Wiles was relieved by left-handed pitcher Aaron Brown in the sixth inning. Brown gave up two hits (both home runs) in his three batters faced.

Aviators third baseman Matt Davidson ended the night a triple shy of hitting for the cycle.

He got things started with a three-run home run with one out in the opening frame after right fielder Drew Jackson singled and catcher Shea Langeliers walked.

His next two hits would leave him stranded on-base, starting with a leadoff double in the fifth inning that was followed by a strikeout, flyout and groundout.

He also singled in the seventh with two outs.

Davidson’s lone out on the night came with the bases loaded in the second inning when he grounded into a fielder’s choice.

Las Vegas was up three runs at that point.

Davidson went 3-for-4 with a single, double, home run, three RBIs and a run scored.

Thursday, W, 5-3

A win on Thursday brought the two-game slide to an end for the Aviators as they beat the Aces, 5-3.

In the process the team won in come-from-behind fashion for the 10th time this season after scoring three unanswered runs en route to the victory.

The leadoff man was essential even when runs were not scored for Las Vegas as six of the nine leadoff men reached.

Third baseman Christian Lopes led off the third inning with a walk before being driven in on an RBI triple from left fielder Dalton Kelly.

Las Vegas would eventually go up 2-0 in the inning after an RBI single from center fielder Billy McKinney.

Kelly found more success later, driving in two runs on a single to score the go-ahead run for the Aviators.

He was one of three Las Vegas batters to record two hits on the night.

Kelly went 2-for-4 with a single, triple, three RBIs, a run scored and a strikeout.

Lopes tallied his second hit in leadoff double fashion in the fifth inning but was left stranded. He ended the night 2-of-3 with a single, double, walk and run scored.

First baseman Dermis Garcia was the final two-hit performer, going 2-for-4 with a single, double and two runs scored.

Garcia led off the eighth with a single and proceeded to steal second base and advance to third on a throwing error.

That nearly self-produced run came across on a sacrifice fly from catcher Austin Allen.

In order to get the win, Las Vegas only used three pitchers, starting with left-hander Jared Koenig.

He gave up three runs on nine hits over 5.2 innings of work while striking out five and walking one.

Koenig (4-2) has now won four straight decisions, giving up six runs over 25.1 innings pitched during that time.

Reliever Austin Pruitt got his second hold of the year going a perfect 2.1 innings, striking out one.

Lefty reliever Sam Selman was given his third save after recording back-to-back punch-outs to shut the door.

It’s his first save since May 1.

Friday, W, 6-1

Las Vegas tied the series through the first four games with two games remaining following a 6-1 win over Reno Friday night.

The Aviators’ five and six hitters in the lineup accounted for five of the team’s six runs. And the duo did it in the first three innings.

Third baseman Vimael Machín made the Aces pay for back-to-back walks to open the game with a two-run double that drove in shortstop Drew Jackson and center fielder Billy McKinney.

Already up 2-0, catcher Austin Allen scored Machín on an RBI double, his second of the year, for a three-run lead.

Allen struck again in the third, hitting his first home run of the year in the form of a two-run blast. Machín was the lead runner on that two-run home run after walking just before Allen came to the plate.

The tandem of Machín and Allen combined for five of the eight hits for Las Vegas.

Machín went 2-for-4 with a single, double, two RBIs, two runs scored and a walk.

Allen went 3-for-4 with a single, double, home run, three RBIs, a run scored and a walk.

The Aviators drew eight walks as a team while team pitching racked up 10 strikeouts in return.

Four of those came from starting pitcher Adam Oller fresh off a major-league stint.

Oller gave up two hits over five innings with three walks to add to those four Ks.

He is now 2-0 with Las Vegas this season with both wins coming in his last two minor league starts, two weeks apart.

Oller has a 1.38 ERA in Triple-A this season.

The lone blemish of the game came from a solo home run from Reno third baseman Drew Ellis off right-hander Brian Howard.

He would eventually leave the game after allowing that one run on three hits over 1 ⅔ innings with two strikeouts and a walk.

Saturday, L, 5-4

A costly error in the 10th inning spelled doom for Las Vegas as it fell, 5-4, to Reno Saturday night in walk-off fashion.

The extra-inning loss comes after the team lost a two-run lead in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Shortstop Vimael Machín committed a throwing error with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 10th inning, allowing the winning run to score.

Prior to the loaded bases situation, the Aces had a runner on third with two outs in the inning.

From there, manager Fran Riordan opted to issue back-to-back intentional walks to right fielder Stone Garrett and designated hitter Seth Beer.

Garrett already drove in a run earlier on an RBI groundout in the eighth while Beer homered to open the scoring in the third.

Both Garrett and Beer have combined for 11 RBIs through the first five games of the series.

Left-handed reliever Aaron Brown (1-2) was given the loss after allowing the one unearned run over 1 ⅔ hitless innings pitched with two walks and a strikeout.

He is now 0-2 with a 4.82 ERA in the month of May.

Fellow reliever Domingo Tapia blew a save in the eighth inning after allowing back-to-back singles to open up the bottom of the frame. That’s where Garrett’s RBI groundout produced a run to cut the Las Vegas lead to one.

Tapia struck out Beer but served up an RBI single from first baseman Dominic Canzone to tie it at four.

Canzone also put the ball in-play on the final play of the game that resulted in Machín’s error.

The blown save meant a wasn’t quality start from pitcher Adrian Martinez, who made his second start since returning from the Oakland Athletics.

Martinez pitched 5 ⅓ innings, giving up two runs on four hits while recording two strikeouts to two walks.

He now has a 6.83 ERA this season for the Aviators and is still without a win in seven Triple-A starts this year.

The Las Vegas offense scored four unanswered runs after falling behind 2-0 early.

First baseman Dermis Garcia scored third baseman Matt Davidson and designated hitter Austin Allen on a two-run double in the sixth inning to tie the game.

Garcia went 1-for-4 with a double, two RBIs, a walk and two strikeouts.

He flew out as the final out of the top of the 10th inning with runners on first and second.

An inning later, center fielder Bill McKinney hit an RBI double to drive in left fielder Dalton Kelly.

McKinney would later come around to score on an RBI single from Machín for a 4-2 Aviator lead.

All nine Las Vegas hitters recorded a hit but none recorded multiple.

Sunday, L, 5-4

The comeback effort of the Aviators fell just short, resulting in the team’s first series loss of the season.

Las Vegas fell short of a come-from-behind bid, falling 5-4 to Reno for the second straight day. Additionally, the win gives the Aces the 4-2 advantage in this six-game series.

The Aviators are now 7-7 in one-run decisions so far this season.

Las Vegas scored 75% of its runs in the final inning and it started with a leadoff walk to first baseman Dermis Garcia.

He got into scoring position after a balk was called on Reno pitcher Mitchell Stumpo. Garcia came around on an RBI double to left field from designated hitter Shea Langeliers.

The run driven in by the No. 2 prospect in the organization cut the home team’s lead to 5-2. Langeliers ranks in the top-10 in RBIs in the PCL.

Three pitches later, Langeliers crossed home plate on an RBI double from left fielder Dalton Kelly, who was one of three Aviators to turn in multi-hit days.

Shortstop Drew Jackson and second baseman Christian Lopes were the other two.

The final run scored by Las Veas came off an RBI single from center fielder Vince Fernandez.

All runs in the ninth inning were scored off Stumpo before he was lifted in favor of reliever Miguel Aguilar who struck out third baseman Matt Davidson and got Jackson to ground into a double play.

A rough outing at the start of the game by Aviators pitcher Parker Dunshee dug the team into a hole that it could not get out of entirely.

Dunshee was hit hard for four runs on five hits in the first two innings of play while recording two strikeouts and three walks.

This is the fourth time this season that he’s tallied more walks than strikeouts.

Additionally, all four of the runs scored by Reno came from first baseman Seth Beer, who homered in yesterday’s game.

Dunshee (1-4) now has a 6.63 ERA so far this season and has a 1-3 record in the month of May.


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