Meltdown in 14th gives Portland 3-2 loss to Las Vegas
- Jason Vondersmith
- Portland Tribune - Sports
Late homers by Bobby Hill and Terrmel Sledge tied the score, but Las Vegas persevered and beat the Portland Beavers 3-2 in 14 innings Thursday night at PGE Park.
After being swept by the 51s, the Beavers (40-47) play three games at Tacoma, starting at 7 tonight.
Manager Craig Colbert will take the three games off, along with the three-day all-star break as part of San Diego's organizational break policy. Each coach and manager in the system gets a series off during the year. So, Colbert and his wife, Julie, will be spending quality time together - she lasted all 14 innings at the park Thursday.
Tim Stauffer (3-8, 4.38 ERA) will face Tacoma's Francisco Cruceta (7-4, 3.77) tonight. Other pitching matchups will be John Hudgins-Cha Seung Baek on Saturday and Jared Wells-Bobby Livingston on Sunday. Justin Leone will then represent the Bevos in the Triple-A all-star game at Toledo, Ohio.
Hill's eighth-inning homer cut the Portland deficit to 2-1, and then Sledge hit a tying homer in the ninth off the batter's eye in center field. On the Fourth of July, Sledge pounded a home run ball over the batter's eye, which has happened only a handful of times since the Beavers returned to Portland in 2001.
Wilkin Ruan, who had four hits, tripled in the 14th inning for Las Vegas and then scored on second baseman Hill's nonchalant error. Wilson Valdez bunted, and Hill bobbled the ball and did not pick it up immediately. Ruan raced home before Hill could gather the ball and throw it.
Five Portland relievers had held Las Vegas scoreless for eight innings before the run scored. Journeyman Justin Reid held the Beavers in check for six innings, while Portland starter Mike Thompson got touched for seven hits and two runs in his first start since being sent down from San Diego.
It was the longest game at PGE Park since the stadium's reopening in 2001.
The Beavers have won just one of their past 11 series, at Fresno, June 16-19.