Robert Brender, @robertbrender on TwitterLas Vegas 51s 4, @ Memphis Redbirds (STL) 2
RHP Rafael Montero (3-3) tossed eight dominating innings for his third AAA win. It’s the best he’s looked since being called up from Binghamton in mid-June and displayed the type of pinpoint control that was a regular occurrence while he was still in the Eastern League.
Final line for Montero: 8IP, 4H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 4K. He threw 100 pitches, 67 for strikes.
Sunday marks the first time since June 15 (his first start after being called up permanently to AAA) Montero didn’t walk a batter in a full start. In fact, he had issued multiple free passes in each of his other eight triple-A appearances, excluding the pre-calculated two inning performance before the All-Star break. The eight innings thrown are Montero’s season-best at either level (7IP was the previous high done 3x in AA, last 6/13). He hadn’t tossed more than six innings in any of his 3A outings. And, only one of the four hits he allowed was for extra bases, a double by Kolten Wong. An overall dominating performance.
Wilmer Flores launched his 15th homer of the season in the 4th inning against Cardinals pitching phenom Michael Wacha. It’s his third long ball since returning from injury, including the two he hit last week in the May makeup game against Sacramento. Playing third base for the second consecutive game, Flores also drew a walk (25BB/419AB) and finished 1 for 3 at the dish. He has five hits in his last 11 at-bats (.454).
Notes: Jordany Valdespin returned from after serving his three game suspension and finished 2-4….Matt den Dekker, Eric Campbell and Zach Lutz drove in the other 51s runs.