Robert Brender, @robertbrender on TwitterLas Vegas 51s 6, @ Salt Lake Bees (LAA) 3
The two biggest knocks in the 9th inning came off the bats of Lucas Duda and Matt den Dekker. Duda tied the game with a one-out single, driving in Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who had walked and advanced to third on a base hit from Ruben Tejada. After Zach Lutz struck out, Eric Campbell drew a free pass to load the bases and give den Dekker a shot to supply the big hit. The Vegas center fielder didn’t disappoint, lining a single up the middle, plating all three runs (the third of which scored thanks to a throwing error from Bees CF Scott Cousins).
Matt den Dekker (pictured) has been tremendous the last two games, going 3-4 each night and driving in five total runs. His batting average is up to .294 with an .874 OPS in 153 AAA at-bats.
As for Duda; he was 2-5, RBI, 2 runs to get his average to an even .300 in 50 at-bats for Vegas. He’s hit safely in each of his last four starts, all of which have been at first base.
Rafael Montero started for Vegas and was just okay: 5IP, 8H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 3K. He threw 91 pitches (57 strikes) and saw his era go up a tick to from 3.25 to 3.27 in 14 AAA starts. The five innings are the fewest for Montero since he threw the same amount July 20 at Reno, six starts ago. He had lasted seven or more innings and surrendered four or fewer hits in his previous three appearances. The three strikeouts are his fewest since July 25, when he fanned 1 against Reno at Cashman Field. Despite the two walks he issued Tuesday, the 22-year-old has given only four free passes in his last 27 innings.
Notes: Ruben Tejada was 3-5 and is batting .277…..The 51s return to Sin City to start a series with Fresno tomorrow night.