Aviators open May with first series win of season
Updated: May 1, 2022
Three more one-run wins, including a one-run finish in the Sunday series finale has helped catapult Las Vegas to its first series win of the year.
The Aviators took four of a possible six from the Tacoma Rainiers of the Seattle Mariners organization. In addition, the team went 7-5 on this season-long 12-game homestand.
Infielder Vimael Machín was a hit-machine during the six-game stretch, batting .440 with seven RBIs.
Moreover, catcher Shea Langeliers brought the power with him as four of his seven hits in the series were home runs. He is now tied for first in the Pacific Coast League in home runs.
As it currently stands, Las Vegas is in second place and are a half game back of first place presently held by the Sacramento River Cats.
In fact, the Aviators will travel to Northern California next for a six-game series with the River Cats.
That series is set to begin Tuesday, May 3. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.
Tuesday, W, 12-5
For the first time all season, the Aviators have dropped a series opening contest.
Tacoma got the best of Las Vegas after posting 10 combined runs in the second and fifth innings en route to a 12-5 win from Las Vegas Ballpark.
The second rehab start for pitcher James Kaprielian did not go as planned as free passes told the story.
Tacoma scored its first run in the first inning before even recording its first hit.
Kaprielian accumulated two walks and a hit batter through the first six batters. In fact, five of the first nine reached via four walks and that lone hit batter.
All three of his walks in the second inning came around to score as part of a four-run second.
He had one walk during his first rehab start.
Kaprielian settled in in the third inning, posting his first 1-2-3 inning.
He left the game after allowing five runs on three hits with four walks and two strikeouts in four innings pitched and was saddled with the loss.
The bullpen allowed the Rainiers to bat around in the fifth inning, adding six more runs in the process.
Pitcher Brian Howard had the most success striking out five batters between the fifth and seventh innings.
However, he was responsible for walking home another run in the seventh inning.
Las Vegas had its fair chance with free passes as well.
Right fielder Ramon Laureano got his first hit as an Aviator in the third inning. It came with two outs while three straight walks followed, scoring the team’s first run.
For the majority of the remainder of the game, Las Vegas was unable to capitalize in such situations.
A leadoff walk in the fifth inning was stranded while a two-on, one out scenario in the seventh inning produced zero runs as well.
The Aviators did add another run on an RBI groundout from left fielder Dalton Kelly which scored designated hitter Vince Fernandez.
Kelly also doubled in a run in the ninth inning amidst a 1-for-5 night with two RBIs and a strikeout.
Las Vegas’ original designated hitter, Dermis Garcia, left the game in the second inning during his first at-bat favoring his right side near his rib cage.
Fernandez went 2-for-5 with a home run, triple, two runs scored and two strikeouts.
Shortstop Vimael Machín went 3-for-4 with three singles and a walk. He has now hit safely in 10 of the 16 games he’s played in so far this season.
Wednesday, W, 6-5
A two-out RBI single from designated hitter JJ Schwarz was the difference as Las Vegas had its eighth one-run finish of the first month of the season.
Las Vegas ousted Tacoma, 6-5, to even this six-game series at one apiece with four left to play.
Schwarz’s game-deciding swing drove in third baseman Vimael Machín who singled with two outs.
Coming into the game, the backup catcher was 3-for-9 in four games played. In this one, Schwarz went 2-for-4 with two singles, an RBI and a strikeout.
Machín also went 2-for-4 with two singles and a run scored as he tallied his sixth multi-hit of the season.
Earlier in the fifth inning, catcher Shea Langeliers hit a two-run home run to put the Aviators up 5-3 over the Rainiers.
It marked the sixth home run of the year for the No. 2 prospect in the Oakland Athletics organization as well as his 12th and 13th RBIs. He leads Las Vegas in both categories.
Prior to that, the Aviators had two total hits through the game’s first four innings.
The team’s first run was scored after loading the bases with one out.
Las Vegas pitching had to fight off several comeback efforts from Tacoma including a top of the seventh inning when the visiting team led off the inning with a triple.
Pitcher Gabe Klobosits turned in three consecutive outs following that leadoff hit to avoid catastrophe.
Reliever Aaron Brown got the win after allowing an unearned run on a hit in his one inning pitched.
Fellow reliever Sam Selman got his first save of the year.
Pitcher Grant Holmes got his second start of the year in his sixth appearance of the year, going two shutout innings, allowing four hits while striking out three.
In those six appearances this season, the former first round pick of the Los Angeles Dodgers has gone 9.1 innings.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Infielder Kevin Smith went 1-for-4 with an RBI single, stolen base, run scored and strikeout in his first game for Las Vegas as part of his major league rehab assignment.
Smith was the lone infielder as part of the trade that sent third baseman Matt Chapman to the Toronto Blue Jays.
Thursday, L, 7-1
Las Vegas went cold through the final eight innings of the game on the way to a 7-1 loss to Tacoma Thursday night.
While the offense was stagnant, Aviator pitching had issues keeping the leadoff man off base while extra-base hits brought them around to score.
Shortstop Vimael Machín hit a solo home run in the home half of the first inning. It was his second home run and ninth RBI of the season while going 1-for-4 in the process.
Machín has six hits through the first three games of this series after tallying eight total in the last series against El Paso.
Second baseman Nate Mondou was the only Aviator player with multiple hits going 2-for-4 with two singles and two strikeouts.
It wasn’t much more offensive success for the remainder of the night for the home team.
The Aviators were retired in order in the third, fourth, fifth, eighth and ninth innings.
By the end of the contest, the team was 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and had left seven runners on-base.
However, Las Vegas was playing from behind the eight-ball early.
The Aviators were down 2-0 before even recording the game’s first out in the first inning. The sequence of a leadoff single followed by a walk was the early difference after a two-run double from first baseman Zach Green brought them home.
An inning later, more of the same transpired when starter Adrian Martinez walked the leadoff man before serving up back-to-back singles, the latter scoring a run.
It got much worse as a three-run home run followed to clear the bases.
Martinez was roughed up for six runs on six hits in four innings pitched while striking out seven and walking two.
So far this season, he has allowed 15 runs (14 earned) on 16 hits in 14 ⅓ innings pitched.
The final run of the game was scored via a solo home run from Tacoma’s Stuart Fairchild in the sixth inning off reliever Bryce Conley.
Friday, W, 7-6
While the Aviators missed an opportunity to secure the Wednesday win after the lead given to them off the home run from No. 2 organization prospect Shea Langeliers, they did not make that mistake again Friday night.
Langeliers left little room for error as this time he hit a blast over the wall in left-center as part of a two-run walkoff home run as Las Vegas beat Tacoma, 7-6.
It was his seventh home run of the season, good for third in the PCL) while also tallying his 11th and 12th RBIs of the season.
Pitcher Ryan Castellani gave up the lead in the top of the ninth inning after entering the frame up 5-4.
Castellani gave up a two-run home run after walking the first batter of the inning. After the game, he was given his first blown save and his first victory.
Las Vegas returned the favor in the bottom half as shortstop Vimael Machín started everything with a leadoff walk.
He was driven in on that two-run shot from Langeliers on a 1-1 count.
Langeliers went 1-for-3 with a home run, RBI, run scored, strikeout and walk.
He also became the first person other than outfielder Luis Barrera to get a walkoff hit this season. Barrera did it twice.
Both Vince Fernandez and Buddy Reed combined to go 5-for-8 with four singles, a double, three RBIs, two runs scored and a strikeout from the corner outfielder positions.
Pitcher Zach Logue got the start and went 5.1 innings, allowing three runs on six hits (two home runs) with four strikeouts and two walks.
He has a 5.63 ERA so far this season and is still without a decision through four games started this year.
Saturday, W, 10-2
Catcher Shea Langeliers picked a fitting time for his first four-RBI game of the season on a night dubbed Stars Wars Night, where the Rebels (Aviators) beat the Empire (Rainiers), 10-2.
Langeliers starred again on a night where he went 2-for-5 with two home runs and four RBI.
The first home run was a two-run shot in the third inning that pushed the Las Vegas lead to 3-0.
The second longball was a solo blast after shortstop Vimael Machín was thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double a batter earlier.
Machîn also was responsible for some run producing, going 3-for-5 with two singles, a double and two RBI.
He now has seven multi-hit games in the first month of the season.
As for Langeliers, he now has nine home runs on the year and 20 RBI, both good for the team lead.
In addition, he came into Saturday’s contest needing two home runs to tie El Paso’s Trayce Thompson for first place in the PCL.
Langeliers now has five home runs in the last six games.
Left fielder Luis Barrera also went deep as part of his 2-for-4 night with a home run, single, run scored and strikeout.
Center fielder Ramon Laureano was responsible for scoring three of the 10 Aviator runs while going 1-for-3 with two walks, a double and a stolen base.
Pitcher Jared Koenig got his first win of the year in his third start and fourth appearance.
Koenig retired the first five batters, three of them by strikeout. In fact, he had four strikeouts through the game’s first two innings on his way to nine strikeouts to just one sixth inning walk.
Moreover, Tacoma didn’t record its second hit until the fifth inning, the same inning the team scored its first run.
Koenig’s final stat line was two runs allowed on five hits in 5.2 innings of work.
Coming into the contest, he was 0-2 with a 3.68 ERA and a 3.00 at Las Vegas Ballpark.
Sunday, W, 6-5
Another seventh inning explosion helped secure the first series win of the year for the Aviators as they beat the Rainiers 6-5, in Sunday’s matinee series finale.
It marked the sixth one-run win for Las Vegas so far this season.
Three runs in the inning helped turn a 4-3 deficit into a 6-4 lead for the home team.
Right fielder Ramon Laureano slipped coming around third base but still scored the go-ahead run as the trail runner on a two-run double from shortstop Vimael Machín.
It was a dominant series for Machín as he ended the six-game series by going 1-for-4 with a double, two RBI and a run scored.
Against Tacoma, Machín hit .440 for the series.
Doubles were a theme of the night as __ of the _ Las Vegas hits went for two bases.
Third baseman Christian Lopes hit a double in the second inning before being driven in on a two-run double by second baseman Nate Mondou.
That was Mondou’s lone hit amidst a 1-for-2 night with a double, two RBI, a walk and a hit-by-pitch. He leads the team with four hit-by-pitches.
Lopes, however, was not done as he drove in a run with a single in the sixth inning to cut the deficit to one.
He went 2-for-4 with a single, double, RBI, run scored, stolen base and a strikeout.
Lopes has now hit safely in 11 of the 14 games he’s played in.
Pitcher Collin Wiles got around two two-out hits in the first two innings but ran into trouble in the third.
Six straight men reached while four came across to score in the Tacoma half of the third inning.
Three straight one-out singles were the difference before Wiles walked in the team’s first run. Back-to-back hits drove in the last three.
Coming into the game, Wiles was 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA (two runs in 12 innings) at Las Vegas Ballpark this year.
Wiles went five, allowing four runs on eight hits with five strikeouts and one walk, picking up his first no-decision of the year.
Reliever Ryan Castellani got the win for the second time in three games.
Las Vegas relievers are 10-5 this season.