The final month of the 2017 Pacific Coast League season got off to an inauspicious start for the Salt Lake Bees.
The Bees opened a crucial eight-game homestand with four consecutive losses to the Colorado Springs Sky Sox before righting the ship with a 5-1 win over the Oklahoma City Dodgers on Monday at Smith’s Ballpark in Salt Lake City. Salt Lake (59-56) remains two games ahead of second-place Albuquerque in the Pacific Southern Division, but fell to 31-29 on its home field.
The Bees were outscored 26-12 in the four-game sweep against Colorado Springs. The Sky Sox won the series opener 10-6 on Thursday after the Bees squandered an early 6-2 lead. Cesar Puello went 4-for-4 with a double, two RBIs and a run scored for Salt Lake.
Colorado Springs held off a ninth-inning rally to win Friday’s game 4-3, as the Bees’ Rey Navarro hit a two-run home run with two outs in the bottom of the final frame. Cameron Maybin, David Fletcher and Nick Franklin all had multiple hits for Salt Lake.
The Sky Sox rolled to an 8-1 win on Saturday, holding Salt Lake off the scoreboard until the eighth inning when Michael Hermosillo tripled and scored on Maybin’s sacrifice fly. Colorado Springs completed the sweep with a 4-2 win Sunday, with the Bees’ lone runs coming on Nolan Fontana’s squeeze bunt in the seventh inning and Navarro’s RBI double that scored Puello in the ninth.
The Bees snapped their four-game losing streak with a 5-1 win over the Dodgers on Monday. Daniel Wright, who recently returned to Salt Lake after a brief stint with the Los Angeles Angels, picked up the win on the mound, allowing one run on two hits with nine strikeouts and two walks in five innings. Manny Banuelos, Andrew Bailey and Brooks Pounders combined for four innings of perfection in relief. Hermosillo hit a solo home run in the third inning and added an RBI single in the seventh. Puello scored on an error in the third, and Dustin Ackley and Tony Sanchez also drove in runs.
The Bees played their second game of a four-game series against Oklahoma City on Tuesday night. The game was not complete at press time. Salt Lake also will play host to the Dodgers on Wednesday and Thursday before opening a four-game road trip in Sacramento on Friday.