Robert Brender, @robertbrender on TwitterLas Vegas 51s 12, @ Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Rockies) 13
Trailing 9-4 in the top of the 8th, Vegas rallied for five runs, tying the game 9-9. The big hit in the inning came off the bat of Mike Baxter, who launched a three-run game-tying homer (6) with two outs off former big leaguer Manny Corpas. Baxter (pictured) had not been very good since his most recent demotion, including 1-7 in the doubleheader Monday, but his 2-4, HR, 4 RBI, 2 BB effort Tuesday was a nice way to rebound.
In the bottom of the 8th, reliever D.J. Mitchell gave the lead right back to the Sky Sox, surrendering four runs on four hits, including a pair of homeruns. Vegas tried valiantly to come from behind again scoring three runs in the 9th but Eric Campbell struck out with the tying run at second base to end the game. Mitchell was ultimately saddled with the loss.
It was a terrible night for Vegas starter Giancarlo Alvarado, who gave up six runs (four earned) on eight hits in six innings. Although he struck out eight, the 35-year-old righty issued three walks over the span of his 113 pitch outing. He was taken off the hook when the 51s tied the game in the 8th so his record remains 5-4 through 12 starts. Certainly a set back after throwing 7 2/3 innings of shutout ball in his last start August 22 against Fresno.
Jack Leathersich was the first arm used out of Wally Backman’s bullpen and his struggles continued. In one inning of work, Leathersich surrendered three earned runs on two hits with two more walks, pushing his AAA era to 6.75. The southpaw has given up 10 earned runs in his last 5 2/3 innings (four appearances) in AAA, with two walks in each of those four outings. He has 27 walks in 28 innings with the 51s this season.
Notes: Ruben Tejada was 3-5, 2R, BB….Brandon Hicks had the best night at the plate going 4-5, 3B, 2 RBI, 3R….Vegas entered the game 3.5 games ahead of Sacramento with a magic number of four. At the time this is being written, Sac leads 2-1 in the 6th inning at home against Fresno with the chance to cut the lead to 2.5 games with seven to play.