Friday, Aug. 30, 2013 | 11:40 p.m.
A ninth-inning meltdown resulted in a 3-1 defeat for the Las Vegas 51s today, but they can still clinch a division crown Saturday thanks to a loss by Sacramento.
The 51s were leading 1-0 with one out in the ninth against Tucson, but Padres second baseman Dean Anna hit a run-scoring single and left fielder Kyle Blanks blasted a homer off of closer Justin Hampson as Tucson came from behind.
Las Vegas starter Rafael Montero threw 6 1/3 strong innings, striking out eight and allowing just three hits.
The 51s (80-61) scored in the fifth inning when leadoff hitter Kirk Niewenhuis slapped a single to right field, scoring catcher Juan Centeno. Centeno had reached base on the second of his two singles on the night.
In their bid to clinch the Pacific Coast League Southern Division title, the 51s were helped by a 7-1 loss by Sacramento at Tacoma today.
The 51s can clinch the division title Saturday with a win over Tucson (75-66). Game time is 7:05 p.m. at Cashman Field.