Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013 | 10:23 p.m.
The Las Vegas 51s entered their game today against New Orleans not having to watch the scoreboard.
Sacramento already won to take a half-game lead over Las Vegas in the Pacific Southern Division standings, putting pressure on Las Vegas to keep pace.
The 51s were out of first place for just a few hours, using a 2-for-4 performance with two runs scored from Kirk Nieuwenhuis in a 3-2 victory against New Orleans in the final game of a series at Cashman Field.
Las Vegas took three of four games in the series. And, each time Las Vegas won, so did Sacramento in keeping the division race dead even.
There’s just a few weeks left in the season and the 51s, the Triple-A affiliate of the New York Mets, are neck-and-neck with Sacramento (the A’s affiliate) for the league title. Friday, Las Vegas opens a five-game series at Salt Lake; Sacramento hosts Tucson — which is just three games out — for five games.
In the finale against New Orleans, the 51s (68-56) led 3-0 after seven innings after Lucas Duda’s sacrifice fly scored Nieuwenhuis.
New Orleans scored twice in the eighth on Chris Valaika’s two-run home run, but the 51s only allowed an infield single the remainder of the game in recording the final four outs.
Eric Campbell had two hits and a stolen base for the 51s, and Rafael Montero (5-3) struck out eight batters in seven innings to record the win. John Church got the final two outs for the save.