Las Vegas Wins Thriller Despite Four Horsemen Of The METropolis

By Michael Lecolant

In Las Vegas, Wally Backman‘s Area-51 starting line-up featured Ike Davis and Mike Baxter, and on the mound, Collin McHugh and Robert Carson.  While Ike’s new assignment must certainly have him feeling like an alien life form in a distant desert galaxy, Collin McHugh and Robert Carson not so much.  They’re comfortably back in their old digs.  At least Davis will have fellow trekkers to buddy with.  But with the way their respective season’s have gone, and particularly after Tuesday evening’s game, Carson, McHugh and Ike might actually welcome getting abducted and probed at this point.

Jul 2, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; General view of Rawlings major league baseballs on the field before the game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Baxter was the only one who represented himself relatively well, going 2 for 4 at the plate, with a walk and a triple.  In his first ever game playing for the Las Vegas 51’s and batting clean-up, Ike Davis was 0 for 3 at the plate, with two walks and two strikeouts.  In the seventh inning with runners on first and second and one out, he looked at strike three.  In fact, he was caught looking both times he fanned.

While Collin McHugh has enjoyed success pitching for Las Vegas this season, his first start since returning did not go so well.  He only lasted four innings, allowing three runs, two earned, on four hits which includes a home run.  He walked four batters and struck out five, but walked away with a no-decision.  Robert Carson’s outing was even worse.  In just 0.2 innings, he was charged with three runs, but none earned, on two hits.  He walked two, struck out one, and was credited with a blown save.

The rest of the Las Vegas 51’s were actually pretty remarkable Tuesday evening.  As mentioned, Mike Baxter tripled, then scored on a wild pitch in the first inning, and in the second, Francisco Pena connected on his fifth home run to give Vegas a 2-0 lead.  But the Tacoma Rainiers scored once in the top of the third, and took a 3-2 lead in the top of the fourth.  In the bottom of the frame, Vegas struck back to retake the lead with a pair of runs, one on a sacrifice fly, and a second scoring on a fielder’s choice.

That’s the way things stayed till the ninth, when the Tacoma Rainiers became beneficiaries of a Robert Carson melt-down.  Largely helped along by Brandon Hicks‘ throwing error, the Rainiers scored three times, to take a 6-4 lead.

With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Andrew Brown drew a walk.  Ike Davis likewise drew a second consecutive, and timely walk issued by Tacoma’s reliever Logan BawcomWilmer Flores then stepped in, and singled to drive in Brown.  Third baseman Zach Lutz took his turn at-bat, and launched his fifth home run of the season for a game winning three run jack.

Despite the four invading horsemen of METropolis, Las Vegas wins 8-6 in thrilling fashion.

Extra Innings

Wilmer Flores is now batting .313 after going 3 for 5 at the plate Tuesday evening, with two runs scored and a run batted in.  He now has forty-six RBI in 235 trips to the plate.

*  Game time temperature – ninety-nine degrees.  But it’s a dry heat…

*  The victory improved Las Vegas’ record to 34-29, placing them two games back of the first place Sacramento River Cats.

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