Updated: Aug 18, 2021
It didn’t start the best but it ended the best possible way for the Las Vegas Aviators.
The “it” being referred to was a six-game road series against the Tacoma Rainiers, in which the Aviators split.
After losing the first three games of the series, Las Vegas rebounded to win three straight of its own to close the series.
This season’s Aviators are 8-10 against the Rainiers this year.
With a 46-44 overall record, Las Vegas still sits in third place of the Western Division of the Triple-A West.
The team is five games behind Tacoma for second place in the division and seven games out of first place, behind the Reno Aces.
The Aviators will return home with a six-game series against the Albuquerque Isotopes.
Thursday, L, 9-2
Las Vegas fell behind early in the series opener in Tacoma and would not be able to right the ship.
The Aviators trailed 1-0 after the first inning until the Rainiers scored two more runs in the third.
Starting pitcher Homer Bailey (1-3) wouldn’t make it past this inning, getting tagged with the loss in the process.
Bailey went 2.2 innings pitched, allowing three runs on four hits while striking out four.
It’s his third straight loss.
Tacoma added three more runs in the fourth, two more in the fifth and another run in the seventh.
Designated hitter Khris Davis flew out in the ninth inning, clearing the way for first baseman Francisco Peña to score, however an interference error on Tacoma’s Jose Godoy allowed third baseman Vimael Machîn to score as well.
Davis went 2-for-4 with a double in his team debut.
Friday, L, 4-3
Las Vegas got to former Aviator Brian Schlitter quickly in his spot start but ended up losing, 4-3 to Tacoma.
First baseman Carlos Perez hit a two-run home run in the first inning off Schlitter to give the Aviators their first lead of the game.
It was his 17th home run this year.
Perez went 1-for-4 with a home run, two RBI, a run scored and a strikeout.
Things were looking even better when starter Paul Blackburn struck out the side in the bottom of the first.
However, two Rainier runs in the second inning tied it up at two.
Two more Tacoma runs in the third inning gave it the lead.
Blackburn went five full innings, allowing four runs on five hits with nine strikeouts and three walks.
In his 17 appearances, he has allowed four runs or more 11 times.
He is now 4-7 with a 4.97 earned run average for the season.
Las Vegas tallied five hits over the last seven innings after the removal of Schlitter.
This includes an RBI single from designated hitter Khris Davis.
It was his first official RBI with the Aviators.
Saturday, L, 4-3
For the seventh time this season, Las Vegas is staring at a three-game losing streak.
For the third time this season, it has come at the hands of Tacoma.
The Aviators were down early in the team’s 4-3 loss to the Rainiers in game three of six in Washington.
Largely in part to a three-run home run from second baseman Donovan Walton, Tacoma took a 4-0 lead into the third inning.
Starting pitcher Miguel Romero was tagged for all of those runs off six hits in his two innings pitched.
He also struck out one and walked two.
Romero dropped to 2-5 on the year with a 6.71 ERA.
Las Vegas scored two runs off an RBI double from left fielder Mickey McDonald in the third and a solo home run from catcher Austin Allen in the fourth.
It was Allen’s 18th home run of the year amidst his 1-for-4 day with the home run, RBI, a run scored and two strikeouts.
That was also McDonald’s only hit in three trips to the plate.
Ten of the 11 runs scored in the game were scored in the first five innings.
The last run of the game came off an RBI sacrifice fly from first baseman Carlos Perez in the eighth inning.
That’s as close as the Aviators got the rest of the way.
Sunday, W, 14-0
Las Vegas used it’s first shutout of the season to end a three-game losing streak against Tacoma.
The Aviators scored three or more runs in three different innings in a 14-0 win over the Rainiers in game four of six.
It started with a six-run second inning where catcher Aramis Garcia got things going with an RBI double.
Designated hitter Chad Pinder, down on rehab assignment, walked in a run with the bases loaded.
Later in the game, Pinder hit an RBI double.
Center fielder Skye Bolt put the game in complete control with a second-inning grand slam to put Las Vegas up 6-0.
It was just the beginning for Bolt who went 5-for-5 with a home run, two doubles, six RBI, two runs scored and a walk.
The Aviators got additional home runs from outfielders Buddy Reed and Carlos Perez.
Perez hit his 18th home run of the year in the eighth inning.
He went 1-for-6 with a home run, three RBI and a run scored.
Starting pitcher Daulton Jefferies improved to 5-1 after pitching six shutout innings allowing four hits and striking out four in the process.
Monday, W, 7-3
It took a little longer this time around but Las Vegas jumped out to another 6-0 lead en route to the team’s 7-3 win over Tacoma.
Designated hitter Khris Davis had his first breakout game with the Aviators, going 3-for-4 with a home run, three RBI and a run scored.
He hit a two-run home run in the second inning to break open the scoring.
Right fielder Chad Pinder also went deep during his 1-for-3 night, with a home run, two RBI and a run scored.
It was the second game of his rehab assignment.
In addition, it was Pinder’s second home run with Las Vegas this season.
That was enough cushion for starter Brian Howard (4-4) who improved to .500 on the year.
Howard pitched five innings, allowing one run via a home run, four total hits with three strikeouts and a walk.
Tuesday, W, 8-4
The Aviators fought off multiple Rainiers comeback efforts to reel off their third straight win to split the six-game series in Tacoma.
Las Vegas jumped out to a 2-0 lead behind an RBI single from third baseman Nate Mondou and sacrifice fly from shortstop Chad Pinder.
A Tacoma home run by Sam Travis cut the lead in half for Las Vegas.
First baseman Francisco Peña added to the lead with a home run of his own to open the fourth inning.
Mondou drove in another run that inning along with right fielder Buddy Reed, who drove in his first of the day.
Two more runs for the Rainiers in the fifth inning cut the deficit to 5-3, the closest the team got the rest of the way.
Four batters recorded two-hit days including Reed, Mondou and Pinder.
Pinder led the team with three RBI on the day while Mondou added two of his own.
Reliever Aaron Brown got the win after a spot start from fellow reliever Argenis Angulo.
Brown pitched 2.1 innings, allowing two runs on no hits, striking out two and walking one.
It was the first win of the year for Brown.