Robert Brender, @robertbrender on TwitterColorado Springs Sky Sox (COL) 5, @ Las Vegas 51s 11
RHP Rafael Montero (pictured) got his first start for the Las Vegas 51s since throwing 6.2 solid innings in a spot start May 22 at Iowa. He was promoted back to Las Vegas June 14 and took to the Cashman Field mound for the first time in his Minor League career Saturday night. His command was as amazing as its been all season long, tossing 5.1 innings without issuing a walk and throwing an 70% strikes (100 pitches/ 70 strikes). However, the Vegas defense was terrible behind him, specifically ss Brandon Hicks, who committed three errors leading to four unearned runs and saddling Montero with a no-decision.
Pitching line for Montero: 5.1IP, 7H, 5R, 1ER, 0BB, 7K. He’s officially 0-1 in two AAA starts but deserved a better fait both times.
Fortunately the 51s bats were at their best Saturday, pounding out 11 runs on 14 hits, including three homeruns. All eight position players in the lineup had at least one knock. It marks the ninth time in 14 games this month the Vegas offense managed double-digit hits.
Zach Lutz has been on fire since returning from an oblique injury June 10. In the four games he’s played since that time he’s 7 for 17 (.411), with a triple, two doubles, two homeruns and six RBI. Lutz played third base tonight, as he has most of the time lately, after getting several starts in left field before his injury.
After going hitless Friday night and in his first three at-bats Saturday, Wilmer Flores homered (7) leading off the 7th inning. It was his 50th RBI in 65 games, which tied him for the PCL lead. If Valdespin continues to struggle as a starter, good chance we see Flores sooner than later in Flushing.
Notes: Ike Davis was 1 for 4 with an RBI but struck out two more times and is batting .211 in AAA….Flores and Lutz hit back-to-back homeruns in the 7th inning….Andrew Brown hit his 7th homer in the 5th inning and drove in two runs. The homer broke a two game hitless streak….Mike Baxter was 1 for 4 and has a six game AAA hit streak.