Las Vegas Aviators manager Fran Riordan was hopeful that Sunday's blowout victory over the Fresno Grizzlies would be the game that would launch his ballclub to a long-overdue winning streak. Turns out the Grizzlies had other ideas.
One day after snapping a seven-game home losing skid with an 11-2 rout of Fresno, the Aviators (18-14) were the team on the receiving end of a beatdown, falling 14-3 in the finale of a four-game series at Las Vegas Ballpark. Chris Dominguez led Fresno's 22-hit attack, going 5-for-6 with a grand slam, double and five RBI. Collin Cowgill (3-for-6, double, two runs, two RBI) and Jacob Wilson (3-for-5, two doubles, run, four RBI) also had three hits for the Grizzlies (15-16).
The game started well enough for the Aviators. After starting pitcher Tyler Alexander pitched a scoreless first inning, leadoff hitter Jorge Mateo singled, stole second and third, then scored on Seth Brown's sacrifice fly.
Unfortunately, the only lead the Aviators would enjoy held up for but a couple of minutes. That's because one day after Las Vegas sent nine men to plate and scored six runs in the first inning, the Grizzlies turned the tables and did the exact same thing, only in the second inning. Wilson (two-run double) and Yadiel Hernandez (two-run HR) delivered the big hits against Alexander (0-2), who lasted just two innings and was charged with six runs on seven hits.
Unlike Alexander, Grizzlies starter Austin Voth (3-2) enjoyed his time on the mound. After surrendering the first-inning run, the right-hander held Las Vegas off the scoreboard until the seventh inning, when Tyler Ramirez tripled in a run and scored on Mateo's one-out groundout. Voth ended up scattering eight hits over seven innings, walking two and striking out eight.
The bright spots for the Aviators on an otherwise miserable night? There were two: Relief pitcher Miguel Romero pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and a walk while striking out five. And Corban Joseph continued his torrid hitting, reaching base on a pair of infield singles for his fourth consecutive multi-hit game.
Against Fresno, Joseph went 10-for-16 with a home run, two doubles, three runs and four RBI. Going back to Thursday's game at Reno, he's hit in five straight games, raising his season average from .293 to .368.
Game Notes: The loss was the Aviators' first on a Monday this season, after winning their first four Monday contests. … The crowd of 7,731 was the smallest of the season at Las Vegas Ballpark, snapping a streak of 15 consecutive sellouts. … Mateo's two stolen bases in the first inning give him a team-high 11 for the season (in 14 attempts). He's also now hit safely in 26 of 29 games.
Big Stew in the House: Former major-league pitcher Dave Stewart, who helped lead the Oakland A's to the 1989 World Series, was at Las Vegas Ballpark on Monday. Stewart, who compiled 168 victories in 16 seasons with five different big-league clubs, is in his second season as a special instructor for the A's. Prior to Monday's game, Riordan said he expected Stewart to remain with the team through Friday's contest against the Salt Lake Bees.
"Stew is very involved in the [Oakland] organization," Riordan said. "I'm sure he's excited to see the next wave of A's and offer his thoughts and guidance."
Olson Back to Oakland: First baseman Matt Olson ended his brief rehab assignment with Las Vegas on Monday, returning to Oakland where he will be activated Tuesday in time for the A's game against the Cincinnati Reds. Olson, who has been sidelined since having surgery in late March to repair a broken bone in his hand, went 4-for-22 with a home run and two RBIs in five games with the Aviators.
Reyes de Plata Return: The Aviators will once again pay tribute to Southern Nevada's Hispanic/Latino community when they adopt their alter ego, the Reyes de Plata (Silver Kings), for Tuesday's opener of a four-game series against Salt Lake at Las Vegas Ballpark.
As part of Minor League Baseball's Copa de la Diversión ("Fun Cup") series, Las Vegas will transform into the Reyes de Plata a total of seven times this season. To learn more about the meaning of Reyes de Plata and the Copa initiative, click here.
Bees Not Buzzing: The Bees (10-20) land in Las Vegas after Monday night's 15-0 loss at El Paso, their third loss in a row and fourth in their last five. Salt Lake is last place in the Pacific Coast League's Southern Division. In Tuesday's series opener, Reyes de Plata right-hander Daniel Mengden (3-2, 3.00 ERA) will oppose Bees southpaw Dillon Peters (0-0, 7.43). First pitch for all four games against Salt Lake is 7:05 p.m.
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.