Beavers Rout 51s 15-1 Behind Cunningham, Kazmar Slams
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Aaron Cunningham hit a sixth-inning grand slam and drove in five runs while Sean Kazmar went 3-for-6 with a grand slam as part of a franchise record-tying, 10-run eighth inning as the Portland Beavers hammered the Las Vegas 51s 15-1 at Cashman Field Sunday night.
The Beavers (50-79) sent 14 men to the plate in the eighth, collecting 10 of their 13 hits on the night, including two doubles and back-to-back home runs. They matched the modern franchise record (since 2001) of 10 runs, set in the eighth inning of a win at Salt Lake on May 23, 2008, and tied in the third inning of their 13-6 win at Omaha just over two weeks ago on Aug. 6.
Wily Mo Peña reached base five times, going 3-for-3 with an RBI double and two walks, and Jody Gerut hit a three-run double in the eighth inning as Portland won its fifth straight road game. Mike Baxter went 2-for-4 with three runs scored and his team-leading 17th home run to continue his torrid August.
Cunningham and Kazmar are the second pair of teammates in club history to hit grand slams in the same game, joining Peter Ciofrone and Pete Laforest, who did it July 16, 2007, also in Las Vegas.
Overshadowed by the offensive fireworks was the performance of Cesar Ramos (5-6), who yielded just three hits over seven shutout innings. Ramos, who extended his road scoreless streak to 17 innings, improved to 5-0 away from PGE Park in 2010. He has started both games in which the Beavers have scored 10 runs in an inning this season.
Brad Emaus belted a solo home run in the bottom of the eighth off Greg Burke as the 51s (61-68) managed just five hits.
Former Beaver Sean Henn (3-3) took the loss despite striking out seven over six innings. He surrendered Cunningham's slam as part of five runs on three hits and four walks. Rommie Lewis was saddled with all 10 eighth-inning runs (9 earned) on nine hits and a walk while recording just one out.
The Beavers were staked to a 1-0 lead on Peña's first-inning double and maintained that advantage through five innings before Cunningham blasted his slam to left-center field in the sixth.
Lewis came on for the 51s in the seventh after Josh Roenicke threw a scoreless sixth. He started the frame by allowing consecutive singles to Kazmar, Baxter and Peña, loading the bases for Cunningham, who drove in his fifth run with a single through the left side. Gerut then crushed a double off the center field wall that cleared the bases. Nick Green then reached on an error and Cedric Hunter flew out before Dusty Ryan walked to the bases once again. Everth Cabrera hit an RBI single back up the middle for the inning's fifth run and Kazmar crushed Lewis's 1-2 offering to left for his second grand slam of the year. Baxter joined Kazmar for Portland's second edition of back-to-back home runs this season, uncorking his round-tripper to right.
Kazmar came up with the bases loaded again in the ninth but grounded into an inning-ending double play.
The Beavers and 51s continue their series Monday night at 7:05 p.m. (Pacific).
NOTES: Kazmar has homered in both of the Beavers' 10-run innings this season ... the Beavers have scored more runs (57) in six games at Cashman Field this season than they have in their last 19 home games (55) ... Baxter is just three home runs shy of becoming the second player in franchise history to hit 20 home runs and steal 20 bases in the same season (Jason Bay, 2003) ... Baxter has scored 12 runs in five games at Las Vegas this season ... Cabrera was optioned to Portland on Saturday and joined the Beavers earlier in the day ... the Beavers also set franchise records for runs (21) and hits (32) at Las Vegas exactly four weeks ago, on July 25 ... Gerut has five RBIs in two games since signing with the Beavers Saturday ... Kazmar and Cunningham are the second set of teammates to hit slams in the same game in the PCL this season, joining Albuquerque's Lucas May and Michael Restovich, who did it on June 21 against Iowa. Oklahoma City's Gregorio Petit hit two grand slams on June 22 against New Orleans ... Portland has compiled six innings of seven-plus runs this season, including four in their last 11 road games.
Beavers Game File SUNDAY'S GAME: Beavers 15, Las Vegas 1 WINNING PITCHER: Ramos (5-6) LOSING PITCHER: Henn (3-3) SAVE: None HOME RUNS: Cunningham (7), Kazmar (6), Baxter (17), Emaus (9) MONDAY'S GAME: Portland (Radhames Liz: 7-8, 4.93) at Las Vegas (Lance Broadway: 3-11, 7.83), 7:05 p.m. (Pacific); live audio broadcast on Freedom 970 AM and www.portlandbeavers.com. Follow the Beavers on Twitter (www.twitter.com/PortlandBeavers) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/OfficialPortlandBeavers).
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