Bees score six in the ninth to top Tacoma
Salt Lake manager Bobby Mitchell warned that there would be inconsistent stretches for the Bees, who were on the verge of losing their fourth straight game Sunday afternoon.
There is, however, a positive about teams that run hot and cold. After eight innings of lukewarm, the Bees turned white hot in the ninth, scoring six runs to steal a 10-7 victory against Tacoma at Spring Mobile Ballpark.
Michael Ryan capped a furious Bees comeback with a three-run blast that fell into waiting hands on the right-field berm. It had been 80 games since Salt Lake (4-7) had rallied for a win after trailing in the ninth.
"It was little slider [Chad Cordero] left up a little bit," Ryan said. "I just tried to keep the line moving."
Salt Lake, down 7-2 after the fourth inning, can thank its bullpen, which kept the game in reach with six scoreless innings. Bees pitchers entered the game sporting an earned-run average near 6.00.
Rich Thompson is one of the few pitchers who have been spotless this season. The 25-year-old hasn't allowed a run in 92?3 innings. He blanked the Rainiers (5-6) for four innings.
"That's our job, try to keep things where they were," Thompson said. "You keep it there and chip away and chip away and then you get a three-run home run to end the game."
The Rainiers scored five runs in the fourth off of starter Trevor Reckling. Salt Lake stayed close thanks to solo homers by Cory Aldridge, Mark Trumbo and Terry Evans. Evans' blast opened the ninth, making the score 7-5. With two on and one out, Tacoma third baseman Matt Mangini booted what might have been a double-play ball.
Instead, a run scored. Then Freddy Sandoval singled to tie the game and Ryan, now on a 14-game hit streak counting last season, ended it.
"[Ryan's] swinging such a good bat right now," said Mitchell said. "He's a professional hitter to the max.
"Hey, that's why there's 27 outs."
Salt Lake designated hitter Michael Ryan's three-run home run caps a six-run ninth inning.
» The Bees had gone 80 games without winning after trailing in the ninth.
» Ryan, Cory Aldridge, Mark Trumbo and Terry Evans homer as the Bees snap a three-game skid.
Today, 6:35 p.m.