By: Hubble Smith, Sports Editor
Zach Lutz came through with a hard grounder down the third base line in the bottom of the 10th inning to propel the Las Vegas 51s to a 5-4 win over the Tacoma Rainiers Tuesday afternoon at Cashman Field.
Lutz, who played some of 2012 and 2013 for the parent New York Mets, drove home pinch runner Kirk Nieuwenhuis from second base after Allan Dykstra had doubled off the right field wall to tie the game at four. Lutz and Dykstra each had two hits for Las Vegas.
Jeff Walters (3-2) picked up the win for Las Vegas, despite giving up the go-ahead run to Tacoma in the top of the 10th.
The 51s built a 3-0 lead behind starter Logan Verrett, who struck out four and walked one in 7 1/3 innings of work. Reliever Buddy Carlyle allowed a two-run single in the bottom of the eighth and Vic Black blew a save opportunity when he allowed the tying run to score on a passed ball.
"Probably the best game Logan's pitched this year and it's unfortunate he doesn't get the win," 51s manager Wally Backman said after the game. "I'm very disappointed in the way we played the last three innings. We had a meltdown, a total letdown, whatever. We didn't play good baseball the last three innings. Really it's the first time we've played like that defensively and it's unacceptable."
Matt den Dekker staked the 51s to an early lead with a solo home run in the second inning and Cesar Puello made it 2-0 with two-out RBI single in the fourth.
The game was played before an announced attendance of 9,686, which included Clark County School District fifth-graders on the 51s annual School Day.
Las Vegas leads the Pacific Coast League Pacific South division with a 28-11 record. The 51s travel to El Paso and Fresno before returning to Cashman Field May 23 for a four-game homestand against Sacramento.
In other 51s news, pitcher Rafael Montero has been called by the Mets and will make his Major League debut Wednesday against the N.Y. Yankees. He's 4-1 on the season with a 3.67 ERA and second on the team with 41 strikeouts.
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