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Tacoma Rainiers (SEA) 11, @ Las Vegas 51s 0

If this was the final Triple-A start for Zack Wheeler, he certainly closed on a high note and proved he's ready for the next step. The right-hander allowed just one run in 5.2 innings but was saddled with the loss because the 51s offense was nonexistent.

Wheeler (pictured) entered the game with five full days of rest after Mets brass pushed his start back one day so he would be in line to make his MLB debut June 18 in Atlanta. It was also reported that he would be on an 85 pitch count limit. As it turned out, he threw exactly 85 pitches (65 for strikes). Not sure the extra rest had anything to do with it, but the 23-year-old was as sharp as ever, walking only one while striking out seven. The only run he allowed came on a one-out 5th inning homer by Carlos Peguero. Wheeler closed his 2013 AAA season with a 3.93 era in 13 starts.

Although pointing out the futility of the Vegas bullpen is a regular occurrence on this blog, and with good reason, tonight was extra special. Gonzalez Germen did the best, at being the worst. In the 8th inning, Germen gave up four homeruns (yes, FOUR), including three in succession with two outs. It doesn't matter that the game was played in the altitude of Las Vegas. It could have been on top of Mt Everest and still be terrible. Germen wound up allowing seven runs on seven hits in 1.1 innings.

Jack Leathersich made his AAA debut after being called up from Binghamton yesterday. The lefty struck out the first batter he faced after taking over for Wheeler in the 6th. He came back out to start the 7th inning and was lifted with a runner on and two out. That inherited runner wound up scoring when Germen began imploding.

Notes: Ike Davis was 0 for 3 Thursday and is now 2 for 10 in three AAA games....Juan Centeno had two hits, playing in his 6th game this month. He's been sharing time with Francisco Pena and both are thriving....Mike Baxter was 1 for 4 and has hit safely in three straight AAA games...Wilmer Flores had a single in three trips, extending his hitting streak to five....Vegas was 3-5 the last eight games against Tacoma...Thursday was the second time in the eight game home-and-home series Tacoma beat Vegas 11-0 (6/8/13). 

Tags: Rob Brender
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