The power has been turned off at Spring Mobile Ballpark.
When Kole Calhoun went deep in the fifth inning of Salt Lake’s sixth consecutive loss, 4-2 to Fresno on Sunday afternoon, it was the first Bees’ home run in 137 at-bats and just the third of the homestand.
It was the first Salt Lake home run since Ed Lucas cleared the fences Wednesday. Calhoun’s opposite-field drive to left came at an opportune time, tying the score at 1-1.
“The toughest part, our home games, the first four or five innings, those shadows are really, really tough,” Salt Lake manager Keith Johnson said. “It’s tough go at it in the beginning of the game.
“The other part of that is it is what it is.”
Calhoun also put the Bees (35-36) temporarily in front with an RBI single in the seventh before Fresno’s Conor Gillaspie ripped a three-run blast in the eighth. Salt Lake starter Greg Smith limited the Grizzlies (45-25) to one earned run despite allowing nine hits.
“Our pitchers did a great job for 71⁄3 innings,” Johnson said. “For the most part, it seems like we’re getting back on track, so hopefully we’ll take that into our series at Colorado Springs.”
Hard-luck Smith (3-4) should have received a little bit more support. Two Bees runners were called out on the bases in controversial fashion by third-base umpire Tripp Gibson, who also tossed Salt Lake manager Keith Johnson out of the game in the first.
Coming into Sunday’s game, Salt Lake had hit a respectable 59 home runs. Yet only 18 had been hit in Spring Mobile, once known as a launching pad.
Crunching the numbers, if the Bees match their road totals, they would be tied for the PCL lead and maybe have a few more wins, which have been hard to come by of late.
“You have to deal with it as best as possible,” Johnson said.
The league’s run production is down overall. So far, pitchers have thrown 58 shutouts, compared with 78 all of 2011.
Storylines Grizzlies 4, Bees 2
R In back-to-back starts, Salt Lake pitchers have combined to allow two earned runs in 14 innings.
• Center fielder Kole Calhoun drives in both Salt Lake runs, including a solo home run.