Home sweet home?
Don’t tell the Salt Lake Bees.
After New Orleans rolled to a 7-3 victory Wednesday night, Salt Lake’s record at Spring Mobile Ballpark dropped to 23-30, which ranks 13th in the 16-team PCL.
The Bees have lost four straight at home. In the process, they have been outscored 32-13.
“I don’t know what it is,” Salt Lake manager Keith Johnson said. “That’s just the way the ball has been bouncing this year.”
In the first of eight straight games at home, things started ominously for the Bees.
With two out in the top of the first, New Orleans’ Chris Coghlan lined a routine-looking fly toward left fielder Trevor Crowe. Instead of being the third out, however, Coghlan ended up on second base when Crowe lost the ball in the sun.
“That’s the peril of our ballpark, early” in the game, Johnson said.
The Zephyrs’ Mike Cervenak followed with a bloop single to right, scoring Coghlan and setting the stage for Nick Green’s two-run homer off Brad Mills, Salt Lake’s tough-luck starter.
“He’s a veteran guy,” Johnson said. “… He did a good job coming back after that” first inning.
The Bees got one run back in the bottom of the first when Crowe led off with a single. One out later, Ryan Langerhans singled him home.
Salt Lake’s Cory Aldridge homered in the second to cut the deficit to 3-2, but the Zephyrs pulled away again in the third on RBIs by Green and Chris Aguila. Both came with two out.
Trailing 5-2, Mills kept the Bees close by scattering three hits over the next four innings. But winning pitcher Omar Proveda, a 24-year-old right-hander who started the season at Class AA Jacksonville, was just as effective.
The Bees managed a run without the benefit of a base hit in the sixth to make it 5-3, but that’s as close as they got.
New Orleans put the game away with two runs in the top of the eighth.
“We battled,” Johnson said. “We just weren’t able to get the big hit. … And then we couldn’t put up a zero late in the game. If it’s a two-run game late, you never know what’s going to happen.”
Raptors 5, Chukars 4 • After being tied 1-1 in the first inning, Ogden put up four runs in the fifth and then held on for the home win over Idaho Falls.
Owlz 7, Rockies 4 • A home run each from Joel Capote and Adrian Gutierrez boosted Orem to a win in Grand Junction, Colo.
Storylines Zephyrs 7, Bees 3
R New Orleans scores three runs with two out in the first and rolls to a 7-3 win over Salt Lake.
• The Zephyrs pound out 13 hits and send the Bees to their fourth straight home loss.
• Salt Lake’s record slips to 23-30 at Spring Mobile Ballpark, 13th in the 16-team PCL.