Updated: Aug 21, 2022
Much needed time to put together back-to-back series wins for the Las Vegas Aviators after taking two of three from the Sacramento River Cats on the road.
This season, the Aviators have taken 12 of the 15 meetings against the RIver Cats. Both teams will meet again this weekend for three games, this time from Las Vegas Ballpark.
The first game is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 19 with first pitch slated for 7:05 p.m. That will mark the start of a 9-game homestand for Las Vegas.
As it currently stands, the Aviators sit seven and a half games behind the Reno Aces for first place in the Pacific Coast League West division.
Monday, L, 4-2
Serving as the only game on Monday night, Las Vegas and Sacramento treated fans with a pitcher’s duel that went in favor of the home team, 4-2.
Aviators starter Collin Wiles let back-to-back two-out doubles in the top of the first plate a run to negate an early one-run lead given to him by his offense.
He’d settle down and retire five straight batters before allowing baserunners in the third inning on a hit-by-pitch and single. In the fourth inning, he recorded his first 1-2-3 inning of the night.
Wiles did allow back-to-back leadoff walks in the next two innings but it was the latter that really caused damage. That sixth inning leadoff walk came around to score on an RBI double to put the River Cats up, 2-1.
Eventually, Wiles would pitch into the seventh inning before being yanked. He’d leave the game after allowing two runs on four hits in 6 ⅓ innings of work with five strikeouts and two walks.
Wiles (8-9, 5.24 ERA) has now gone at least five innings in five straight starts and has tallied 10 quality starts in 22 appearances this year.
Las Vegas designated hitter Matt Davidson drove in the team’s first run of the night in the first inning for his 41 RBI of the season. After that, the team wasn’t able to muster much else.
An inning later, Las Vegas failed to capitalize on back-to-back two-out walks, leaving both stranded. In the third inning, the Aviators would squander a baserunner opportunity after a one-out single.
Right fielder Luis Barrera suffered the same fate in the fourth inning after reaching on a similar one-out single. Moments later, he’d be caught trying to steal second base.
In the seventh inning, he’d get another one-out hit, this time a double but would eventually be left stranded
It wasn’t all bad for Barrera as he came around to score the second Las Vegas run of the night on an RBI ground-rule double from catcher Beau Taylor. Barrera went 2-for-3 with a single, double, run scored, walk and strikeout.
Tuesday, W, 12-1
Las Vegas scored in seven of the nine innings en route to a blowout, 12-1, win over Sacramento Tuesday night.
The Aviators scored a run in three of the first four including one off an RBI single from first baseman Dalton Kelly after second baseman Nate Mondou doubled with an out in the inning.
The breakout swing of the night came from designated hitter Dermis Garcia when he connected on a three-run home run with one out to put Las Vegas up, 6-0, in the fifth inning.
That wasn’t the only homer on the night from the road team as third baseman Matt Davidson hit his 20th longball of the year in the top of the eighth inning to go up, 9-1. Right fielder Billy McKinney got in on the action, hitting the team’s second three-run blast of the night in the ninth inning.
Pitcher Hogan Harris made his Triple–A debut and shined for the better part of it.
He left a baserunner who reached on a one-out double stranded before working around back-to-back two-out waks an inning later.
In the third inning, Harris got former Las Vegas utility man Drew Jackson to flyout with the bases loaded to end the frame. At one point in the inning, Sacramento had runners on first and second with nobody out.
Harris shined brightest in the fourth inning when he struck out the side for his first 1-2-3 inning at this level. He’d leave the game after that frame, closing his day with four shutout innings, allowing two hits in the process while striking out seven and walking four.
Pitcher Jared Koenig (5-5, 4.18 ERA) got the win after working the rest of the five innings, giving up a run on four hits to go along with six strikeouts and a walk.
Wednesday, W, 3-2
It’s a second straight series win for Las Vegas after taking the series finale away from Sacramento by a final score of 3-2.
After plating early runs, the Aviators were able to rely on precision pitching to get out harm's way. Catcher Beau Taylor opened the scoring on the night with a two-out solo home run in the first inning. An inning later, shortstop Kevin Smith scored another run for the team on an RBI sacrifice fly.
The River Cats were sat down in order through the first seven batters before a solo home run with one out in the third inning started the team’s comeback efforts.
Sacramento didn’t score another run until the bottom of the sixth inning after two doubles in a three-batter span tied the game at two apiece.
Las Vegas starter Ken Waldichuk went 5 ⅓ innings, giving up two runs on four hits while striking out six and walking one.
Left fielder Dalton Kelly played hero after getting the go-ahead solo home run to center field. The inning prior, the Aviators put together back-to-back strikeouts after loading the bases with one out.
Reliever Adam Kolarek shut the door and picked up the two-out save, recording a strikeout along the way. That marked his second save of the year and the first since June 4.
Fellow reliever Norge Ruiz got the win to improve to 5-1 this season.