Robert Brender, @robertbrender on TwitterFresno Grizzlies (SF) 0, @ Las Vegas 51s 5
The Las Vegas 51s shut out the Fresno Grizzlies 5-0 Thursday night at Casman Field for their fifth consecutive win. Despite losing some of their best players to big league call-ups the last few weeks, including Wilmer Flores and Travis d’Arnaud, the 51s continue to lead the PCL Pacific Southern Division thanks to a 14-7 record in August. Thursday was the first shutout for the Vegas pitching staff since July 3, when they beat these same Fresno Grizzlies 2-0 also in Sin City.
What a night for starter Giancarlo Alvarado, who threw 7 2/3 innings of shutout ball for his fifth win of the season. The righty scattered six hits and struck out six, lowering his era to 3.21 in 11 starts for the 51s. He entered the night off back-to-back terrible appearances, lasting only two innings each time and giving up 10 earned runs. Overall, however, the 35-year-old has been a pleasant surprise and a nice signing by the Mets to eat innings in AAA.
Zach Lutz (pictured) had a nice night at the plate: 2-4, double, 3 RBI, run to push his average to .291 for the season. The PA native has four straight multi-hit games and six in his last seven starts. The three RBI give him 73, which is the highest total on the active roster. Although Lutz has been striking out a lot lately (7x in his last 20 AB), he’s one of the few power threats in the middle of the 51s lineup and has been supplying needed offense.
Notes: Ruben Tejada had the night off….Lucas Duda was 1-2, 2 walks, 2 runs….Sacramento had their game rained out in Colorado Springs, so the 51s now have a 1.5 game lead in the division with 13 games remaining.