Alvarez pitching duel with Sintes
By Karen Boehler
Pecos League writer
LAS VEGAS — After a close loss to the Fuego in Santa Fe Saturday, Las Vegas gave its home fans a look at Edison Alvarez, who Train Robbers manager Casey Dill called “one of the best pitchers in the league.”
So despite a good performance by Santa Fe pitcher Jon Sintes, Las Vegas made it 2-0 at home with a 5-3 victory.
“It was a well-played baseball game by both teams, much like last night,” Dill said. “Both teams played solid baseball all the way around. The pitching was good tonight. The defense was solid by both teams and we were lucky enough to come out on top today.”
“We played pretty good baseball,” agreed Santa Fe manager Bill Moore. “We just came up a little bit short. I’ve got nothing negative to say about the club.”
The Robbers drew first blood in the bottom of the second when Adam Kam and Ricky Brown each walked, Ted LeMasters singled to load the bases and Gary Stauff hit into an RBI out. Alvarez then helped his own cause with an RBI single.
The Fuego plated their first run in the third when Kyle Zimmerman, Jimmy Maxwell and Josh Barnett all singled, scoring Zimmerman.
Vegas came back with one in the bottom of the stanza when Randy Wells tripled and came home on a put out, then made it 5-1 in the fourth on two errors and singles by Haskell and Wells. But those were the last runs the Fuego gave up — Sintes went seven complete and Charlie McCready one, holding the Robbers to only twwo more hits — while Santa Fe chipped away at the lead.
The Fuego made it 5-2 in the sixth on an Eric Scott triple and putout; and 5-3 in the seventh when Charlie Calamia reached on a fielder’s choice and scored on a balk and error.
But he was the last runner to cross the plate, and both managers agreed that pitching was the story of the day.
“(Sintes) threw well,” Moore said. “He threw eight complete innings and gave up four runs. That’s a very good outing. The other guy threw very well, Edison Alvarez, and they kind of battled each other a little bit and that’s how baseball goes sometimes.”
“(Alvarez) commands the zone,” Dill said. “He throws strikes. He doesn’t walk a lot of guys. He’s a legitimate affiliated prospect. His mound presence is huge. He doesn’t get fazed by anything that goes on behind him. We did have a couple of errors behind him today. The score would have been a little bit different today if we catch those balls that got dropped. But he’s just on to the next hitter. Pounds the strike zone with multiple pitches, and he has the stuff that if he can throw them for strikes and locate and we can play a little bit of defense behind him, we’re going to win when he pitches.’
Both managers said they saw room for improvement on defense, and both coaches had praise for their hitters.
“Our hitters take good approaches,” Dill said. “They take pitches they can’t hit and they hit balls hard that are put in the strike zone. The wind held up a lot of balls today that maybe go out on most days, but our hitters are professional hitters from top to bottom.”
“(Our hitting) was a little light,” Moore said. “We didn’t do what we wanted to do and I have to give Mr. Alvarez credit for that. He mixed it up. We never saw the same pitch twice in the same at bat. He’s a tough guy.”
had multiple hits. Wells was 3-for-4 with one run and RBI while Ricky Brown was 2-for-3 with a run. Maxwell went 3-for-4 against Alvarez and reliever Chuck Fontana, who earned the save, while CAlamia was 2-for-4, one run; Kellen Lee 2-for-4; and Zimmerman 2-for-5, one run and RBI.
The teams meet again Monday in Las Vegas, and with Austin Carden on the mound for the Fuego and Atsushi Hebisawa for Vegas, both managers are thinking positive.
“If we can win tomorrow we win the series, and if we keep winning series, we’ll be a playoff team,” Moore said
“Whenever the Trains Robbers and Fuego get together, I expect a good ball game, and I expect nothing less for tomorrow night,” Dill said.
Phil Grondin contributed to this story
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