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Aviators top 10: Las Vegas playing for consolation prize

1. Wait ‘til next year

With four losses in their past five games entering Saturday night’s game at Sacramento, the Aviators have been eliminated from regular-season championship contention in the Triple-A West. Las Vegas has fallen 10 games behind first-place Tacoma in the West Division standings.

2. Lovely parting gift

It’s still possible the Aviators could salvage a consolation prize during the Final Stretch — 10 games added to the end of this year’s regular season. Las Vegas will host Oklahoma City in a five-game series starting Thursday before closing with five games at Reno. A single winner among the 30 Triple-A affiliates will be determined based on winning percentage in the 10 bonus games.

3. End game fails

The Aviators blew a 3-2 ninth-inning lead and lost 6-3 to Reno on Monday at Las Vegas Ballpark. It was the first time in 48 games this season that Las Vegas was defeated when leading after eight innings.

4. On one hand …

Of the 15 Aviators who have amassed 100 at-bats, five are hitting .300 or above: Skye Bolt (.387), Mickey McDonald (.344), Frank Schwindel (.317), Austin Allen (.317) and Greg Deichmann (.300).

5. … on the other hand

Of the 22 Aviators pitchers who have appeared in at least 10 games, only three have an ERA below 3.00. Domingo Acevado (2.48 in 32 2/3 innings before being called up Tuesday by the Oakland A’s), Sam Moll (2.63 in 13 2/3) and Aaron Brown (2.95 in 21 1/3) are the team leaders.

6. Fiers gets torched

Mike Fiers, who was 15-4 for the A’s in 2019 and threw the second no-hitter of his career, yielded three hits and three runs in a 1 2/3-inning rehab start for the Aviators in Tuesday’s 8-2 loss to Reno. The 36-year-old right-hander made two starts for the A’s this season before being placed on the injured list with a sprained elbow.

7. Aviators tops on A’s farm

Although the Aviators have slipped to 61-55, they remain the only A’s minor league team with a winning record. Entering Saturday’s games, the Arizona Rookie League Athletics were 16-42, the Class A Stockton Ports 42-73, the High-A Lansing Lugnuts 57-61 and the Double-A Midland Rockhounds 58-59.

8. Mexican Baseball Fiesta

Aguilas de Mexicali defeated Los Naranjeros de Hermosillo 5-4 and 9-4 in the Mexican Baseball Fiesta at Las Vegas Ballpark. The crowds were small (2,266 Thursday, 3,553 Friday) but enthusiastic with plenty of music and dancing.

9. Frank the Tank: weekly update

Former Aviators first baseman and fan favorite Frank Schwindel is making Cubs fans not miss Anthony Rizzo nearly as much as they thought they would. In an 8-5 loss to the Brewers on Friday, Schwindel went 2-for-5 with his 13th home run to improve his average to .366 since Chicago claimed him off waivers from the A’s.

10. Aviators quick quiz

Who holds the Las Vegas franchise record for longest hitting streak, and how many games was it?

Answer: Joey Cora, 37 games. The former major league infielder and coach collected a hit in every game from June 16, 1989, through July 23 while a member of the Las Vegas Stars.

Contact Ron Kantowski at rkantowski@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0352. Follow @ronkantowski on Twitter.

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