A second straight scorching hot night at the plate from the Las Vegas 51s’ right fielder Ty Kelly headlined a torrid offense on getaway day as the 51s avoided the series sweep with a 10-4 win over the Albuquerque Isotopes.
The 51s opened the game with two runs in the first inning. Kelly, hitting out of the second spot, started strong with a triple in his first at-bat. Zach Borenstein followed with a two-run home run that gave Las Vegas a 2-0 lead.
Kelly combined for 23 total bases in two games this series, going 7-for-10 with three triples, one double and three home runs.
“I felt really good, I felt really confident,” Kelly said. “When you see one hit or one home run go out then you can just play confidently. It’s tough to get to that point, because hitting can be so hard — it can be so cruel sometimes, lining out. But you see the first one fall and you can just kind of relax a little bit and start to be confident.”
The Isotopes were unable to respond in the bottom half of the inning and lost their leadoff hitter, Raimel Tapia, after he was ejected for arguing balls and strikes following a strikeout looking. The next two hitters were retired in order to end a scoreless first.
Albuquerque starter Harrison Musgrave was able to hold the 51s scoreless in the second inning, and the Isotopes were able to respond and get the bats going a bit in the bottom half. A Derrik Gibson triple was followed by a walk by Josh Fuentes. Catcher Jan Vazquez followed with an RBI single that drove in Gibson and moved Fuentes over to third and cut Las Vegas’ lead to one.
The 51s wasted no time answering back, adding two more to their total in the top of the third. It appeared that Musgrave might work out of the damage without allowing a run, as Phillip Evans was caught stealing at third, but due to an error on the catch by Gibson, Evans came around to score.
David Thompson who was on first, advanced to second. Thompson stole third, and it appeared the Isotopes had him caught stealing, but a throwing error by Vazquez, he came around to score.
Las Vegas, continuing with the early trend, added another pair of runs to the tally in the fifth inning. This time, they came on a two-run Kelly home run to dead centerfield, making the score 6-1 heading into the bottom of the fifth. The Isotopes failed to score, and the 51s extended their tally again with two more runs in the sixth.
Albuquerque finally answered, scoring one of their own in the bottom of the inning. A two-out single from Gibson was followed by a triple from Fuentes. The Isotopes were unable to take advantage of the runner on third and only added one run. It was 8-2 heading into the seventh.
Las Vegas added to its lead for the final time in the eighth, as two more runs came across the plate off of Isotopes reliever Brooks Pounders. Albuquerque attempted to manufacture a rally in the bottom of the ninth, as Josh Fuentes and Jan Vazquez led off with back-to-back singles. A groundout from shortstop Anthony Philips brought the run home and advanced Vazquez to second, but a strikeout from pinch hitter Anthony Bemboom and a flyout from leadoff man Daniel Castro ended the game.
The Isotopes return to action Thursday at 6:35 p.m. against the Salt Lake Bees for the first of a four game set.
Cameron Goeldner is a sports beat reporter and photographer for the Daily Lobo. He primarily covers men’s soccer and softball but also contributes content for baseball, basketball, football and track and field. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @goeldfinger.