After being shutout on the Fourth of July, the Las Vegas 51s (41-46) provided some fireworks Thursday night from Chukchansi Park, dismantling the Fresno Grizzlies (50-36) 12-5. Both squads combined for five dingers, while the 51s powered three and fell a solo shot shy of the home run cycle. With the defeat, Fresno dropped to 24-18 at home, 8-14 in the second game of a series and 47-13 when scoring three runs or more.
Peter Alonso gave Las Vegas a 2-0 lead in the top of the first when he pummeled a pitch to center field. The two-run wallop was his fourth of the year.
AJ Reed (2-for-3) cut the score in half in the bottom of the first when he laced a single to center, plating J.D. Davis.
The 51s brought 15 batters to the plate in the top of the second, expanding the advantage to 11-1. Colton Plaia's (3-for-5) RBI double to left and a fielding error pushed it to 4-1. Then, Jeff McNeil (4-for-6) mashed a grand slam to right field. It was his fourth homer of the season. Finally, Patrick Kivlehan (3-for-6) crushed a three-run tater to the grassy berm in left-center field. His fifth four-bagger of the year made it 11-1.
That would finish the night for Fresno starter Trent Thornton (5-7, loss). He lasted one and one-third innings, allowing eight hits, 11 runs (10 earned), walking one and fanning one.
On the other hand, Las Vegas starter Kevin McGowan (no-decision) hurled four frames of one-run ball. He gave up a pair of hits and free passes while whiffing one.
Reed inched the disadvantage to nine in the bottom of the sixth when he launched a longball to right field. It was his team-leading 19th round-tripper. He added two RBI on the evening, bringing his total to 69 on the season (Triple-A high).
The Grizzlies trimmed the deficit to 11-5 in the home half of the seventh. A double to the left-center gap by Nick Tanielu (2-for-4) scored Jamie Ritchie. Then, Kyle Tucker (2-for-5) raked a two-run blast to the right field bleachers. It was his 14th big fly of the year. His 66 RBI rank second in Triple-A behind Reed.
A double by Luis Guillorme (2-for-6) and RBI single by Cody Asche (3-for-5) in the top of the eighth provided the 51s with a 12-5 advantage. Buddy Baumann closed the door in the ninth, stopping any Fresno comeback.
Relievers Ralph Garza and Reymin Guduan chucked solid relief outings for the Grizzlies. Garza struck out four in three and one-third scoreless innings while Guduan punched out the side in his frame. 51s lefty Ian Krol (2-0) enjoyed the win after working one-plus scoreless innings.
Both teams continue the set with the middle game of five Friday night from Chukchansi Park. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PT. RHP Rogelio Armenteros (6-0, 3.44) toes the rubber for Fresno while Las Vegas counters with RHP Scott Copeland (1-0, 6.00).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.