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October 25, 2014

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Grand slam propels Las Vegas 51s to victory in season opener

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Steve Marcus

Las Vegas 51s’ Zach Lutz, right, celebrates with teammates after hitting a seventh-inning grand slam during the 51s’ season opener against the Fresno Grizzlies at Cashman Field Thursday, April 3, 2014.

Las Vegas 51s Season Opener

Las Vegas 51's mascot Cosmo jokes with Macy Perkes, 11, Emma Perez, 11, and Kate Perkes, 9 before the 51's season opener against the Fresno Grizzlies Thursday, April 3, 2014. Launch slideshow »

One swing from Zach Lutz today helped the Las Vegas 51s start the season in grand fashion.

Lutz connected on a seventh-inning grand slam in a five-run frame to help the 51s down the visiting Fresno Grizzlies 9-2 on Opening Day of the Triple-A season at Cashman Field.

The 51s, the top affiliate of the New York Mets, picked up where they left off last season. They had the second-best record in the 16-team Pacific Coast League and won the Pacific Southern Division.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis was a perfect 4-for-4 for Las Vegas, including a solo home run in the sixth inning. Eric Campbell added a two-run single in the fifth inning for the initial runs of the season. Lutz, Nieuwenhuis and Campbell were standouts last season.

Rafael Montero pitched six scoreless innings to get the win, striking out six batters and surrendering just four hits. Shortstop Daniel Muno and Lutz each had two hits, and Nieuwenhuis scored twice.

The series continues at 7 p.m. Friday in the second game of an eight-game homestand to open the season.

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