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July 30, 2014

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51s blow ninth-inning lead, then rally to score four runs with two outs for win

Zach Lutz hits a game-ending three-run home run for 51s in wild ninth-inning victory against Tacoma

Zach Lutz hit a game-ending three-run home run Tuesday for the Las Vegas 51s, helping them score four runs — all with two outs — in their last at-bat for an 8-6 victory against visiting Tacoma.

In the top half of the ninth, the 51s were one strike away from winning the game, but Tacoma’s Brad Miller belted a two-out, bases-clearing triple to give the Rainiers a 6-4 advantage.

The initial two Las Vegas batters of the ninth recorded outs before Andrew Brown and Ike Davis drew consecutive walks to start the Las Vegas rally. Wilmer Flores singled to score Brown and trim the Las Vegas deficit to 6-5 and Lutz followed with his fifth home run of the season to cap a wild ninth inning that saw the teams combine for seven runs.

The 51s scored twice in the fourth inning on a sacrifice fly from Francisco Pena and an RBI groundout from Brandon Hicks for a 4-3 lead.

Relievers Sean Henn and Justin Hampson each pitched two scoreless innings in relief to hold the lead, but stopper Robert Carson surrendered two walks and two hits in the ninth as Tacoma plated three runs.

Earlier in the game, Pena hit a solo home run in the second inning for Las Vegas in finishing 2-for-3, and Wilmer Flores went 2-for-4 with a run scored.

Davis, playing in his first game after being dropped to Triple-A Sunday, was hitless in three at-bats with a pair of strikeouts. He did draw two walks.

The series continues at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday.

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