The Salt Lake Bees returned to Smith’s Ballpark on Tuesday hoping to keep their recent run of success going, but instead, they extended a more dubious streak.
The Bees (26-32) have now lost four out of their past five home games after back-to-back losses to the San Antonio Missions, a streak that coincides with Salt Lake winning 11 of its past 15 road games. The Bees’ 11-14 home record is the second-worst in the Pacific Coast League’s Pacific Conference, ahead of Sacramento’s 14-19 mark.
Salt Lake was limited to just four hits in Wednesday’s 9-0 loss to San Antonio, with no runners advancing past second base. Ty Kelly was 2-for-3 with a double, and Michael Hermosillo and Wilfredo Tovar were the only other Bees to record a hit. The Bees struck out 14 times and went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position.
The Missions (38-22) drew 10 walks in the game and were 4-for-12 with runners in scoring position. David Freitas was 2-for-4 with three RBIs for San Antonio, the Milwaukee Brewers’ Triple-A affiliate. Keston Hiura was 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI and three runs scored, Tyler Saladino was 1-for-3 with a two-run home run and three runs scored and Cory Spangenberg was 2-for-4 with a triple, an RBI and two runs scored. Aaron Wilkerson was the winning pitcher with 5 1/3 innings of three-hit ball, striking out eight and walking three. Relievers Deolis Guerra, Jake Petricka and Jay Jackson combined to allow just one hit with six strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings of work.
On Tuesday night, the Missions edged the Bees 7-5 as a late Salt Lake rally fell short. San Antonio scored six runs in the top of the first inning, aided by a couple Bees errors. Jacob Nottingham had a two-run double and Mauricio Dubon added a two-run single in the inning.
Salt Lake slowly cut into the Missions’ advantage, beginning with an RBI triple by Justin Bour in the bottom of the first. Wilfredo Tovar added an RBI double in the third, and Brennon Lund and Jarrett Parker had solo home runs in the fourth and fifth innings, respectively, to cut the lead to 6-4.
Spangenberg’s RBI double stretched San Antonio’s lead to 7-4 before an RBI double by Bour in the bottom of the ninth provided the final tally.
Bees starter Patrick Sandoval allowed six runs — three of which were unearned — on four hits with two walks and a strikeout while recording just one out. Jeremy Rhoades, Adrian De Horta and Greg Mahle combined to allow one run on six hits with 10 strikeouts and five walks over 8 2/3 innings of relief for Salt Lake, but the Bees couldn’t dig their way out of the early deficit.
The Bees wrapped up their three-game series with the Missions with a Thursday matinee that was not complete at press time. Salt Lake will open a four-game series against the Round Rock Express on Friday at 7:05 p.m. at Smith’s Ballpark.