LAS VEGAS — Colorado Springs pounded out 14 hits and three Las Vegas runs weren’t enough as the 51s fell to the Sky Sox 6-3 on Thursday night in front of 6,456 fans at Cashman Field. With the loss, Las Vegas saw their five-game winning streak come to an end.
Chris Woodward made an impromptu appearance at first base for the 51s in the top of the fifth inning, when Adam Lind was removed from the game for an unknown reason. However, 51s manager Marty Brown implied after the game not to read too much into the move.
“He just hit a foul ball off his shin,” he said, adding that Lind was spotted limping in the clubhouse after the game. “He hit it pretty solid off of his shin, so we’ll see. He’s kind of day-to-day, we’ll see how he is tomorrow.”
Offensively, designated hitter Travis d’Arnaud got the 51s on the board in the first inning with a hard-hit RBI double to the gap in left center for his 20th two-bagger of the season.
After Colorado Springs scored four unanswered runs to take a 5-1 lead, the 51s made it a 5-3 game in the bottom of the sixth on two-run double by third baseman Kevin Howard. After d’Arnaud and right fielder Moises Sierra drew walks, Howard, who finished 3-for-4 on the night, roped an 0-1 pitch to the opposite field down the third base line.
Sierra, who hustles on every play and legged out an infield single earlier in the game, scored all the way from first with a head-first slide at home plate to narrowly beat the throw.
While Brown didn’t seem too thrilled with the head-first slide, the 51s skipper certainly enjoys the way Sierra plays the game.
“We’ll have to talk about that tomorrow,” Brown said of the slide. “But you have to appreciate the way he goes about playing the game. He comes [to the park] with the idea of going 100%. He’s fun to have around.”
The Sky Sox got to 51s starter Andrew Carpenter early, as a sacrifice fly in the first inning and back-to-back doubles in the second quickly put two runs on the board. Carpenter ran into a jam in the top of the fourth, when Sky Sox first baseman Chad Tracy roped a pitch to left fielder Eric Thames for a leadoff double.
Thames dove to try and make the play, but the ball deflected off of his glove and rolled to the outfield wall behind him. A walk and a sacrifice bunt after that put runners on second and third with one out, but Carpenter was able to escape the inning unscathed after getting two key ground outs.
In the fifth, after a walk and a single put runners on first and second, Carpenter gave up another double, this time to former Angels third baseman Brandon Wood. Cut-off man Adeiny Hechavarria cleanly relayed Thames’ throw from left field with a perfect toss to home, but catcher Paul Phillips couldn’t hold on to the ball when he tried to make the tag and two runs came in to score.
Carpenter finished his outing having allowed four runs (three earned) on seven hits with three walks. He didn’t have his best stuff on the night, and his manager said that Sky Sox hitters took advantage of balls left up in the zone.
“He didn’t really establish his fastball like he has in some other outings,” Brown said. “Obviously he’s the type of guy that uses all of his pitches from the get-go and is more of a command guy. He got the ball up in the zone a few times today and it ended up hurting him, but it was an unusual outing.
“He usually gives you a really good start and gives you a chance to win.”
After right-hander Bobby Korecky gave up one run on three hits in the sixth, 37-year-old Tim Redding, who hadn’t pitched since June 3, surrendered a one-out solo home run in the seventh. In the next at-bat, Redding made a nice barehanded throw on a bunt by Sky Sox left fielder Brandon Roberts, and though the throw was in timE. Roberts was ruled safe as Woodward came off the first base bag.
In his first Triple-A appearance of the season, right-hander Ronald Uviedo worked around a double to throw a scoreless ninth. Uviedo, 25, managed a 3.10 ERA in 29 innings for Double-A New Hampshire prior to Thursday night.
Scott Richmond (5-4, 5.89 ERA) takes the hill for the 51s tonight on a Fireworks Friday at Cashman Field.