The Las Vegas 51s used a six-run third inning to hand the Salt Lake Bees their second straight loss 8-1 in front of 4,869 fans at Smith’s Ballpark on Father’s Day.
Gavin Cecchini led the way for the 51s with four RBIs on a three-run homer and a single. Travis d’Arnaud also contributed two RBIs on a two-bagger in the third inning. All but one player in the Las Vegas lineup had a hit in the blowout. Bees starting pitcher Blayne Weller — who was promoted from Double-A Arkansas on June 13 — got destroyed by the 51s lineup, giving up five hits and six runs in just 2.2 innings pitched.
“When you get down six runs like that, it’s hard to stay up. We’ve had a couple games where we gave up some six spots, same thing tonight, and it kind of deflates you a little bit,” said acting manager Ty Boykin, who is subbing in for Keith Johnson — away on a four-day vacation.
Las Vegas took control of the game in the third inning. A scoring rampage started when Bees center fielder Nick Buss seemed to lose the ball in the sun as it dropped on the warning track for a double by Danny Muno. Muno then scored the first run of the contest on a single by Brandon Nimmo. Then d’Arnaud followed with a double to right-center that scored two runs, putting Las Vegas ahead 3-0. The 51s took a six-run lead after Cecchini uncorked a three-run home run that landed in the sparse left field berm.
In the fourth, Tyler DeLoach hit a ball just over the glove of Bees shortstop Brendan Ryan — playing his first game for Salt Lake — to score Johnny Monell from second, increasing the 51s' lead to seven.
Rafael Ortega scored the first — and only — Salt Lake run of the game in the sixth inning, crossing home plate on a sacrifice fly by Sherman Johnson. Cecchini hit an RBI single in the top of the ninth to give the 51s their eighth run of the game.
UNLUCKY IN VEGAS: The Las Vegas 51s continue to be Salt Lake’s Achilles heel. In 2015, the Bees went just 3-13 against the 51s. Salt Lake hasn’t won a season series against Las Vegas since 2009. This is the first series played this year between the Bees and 51s, with three more series on the schedule in 2016.