Minor leagues: Colorado Springs erupts vs. Salt Lake
There are losses that are more palatable than others, simply because the opponent was better.
Then there was Colorado Springs' 12-5 victory that temporarily cooled off hot Salt Lake on Monday night at Spring Mobile Ballpark.
Bees pitching didn't do the job. Part of it could have been starter Greg Smith's attempted barehanded stab at a grounder the inning before the Sky Sox exploded for six in the sixth.
"We thought he was OK, but I probably left him in there a little longer than I should have," Bees manager Keith Johnson said. "But I mean, he has been a workhorse for us and got himself in and out of those situations all year for us, but tonight he wasn't able to do it."
Colorado Springs' big inning negated what would have been a spirited comeback from four runs down as Salt Lake batted around in the fourth inning to take a 5-4 lead.
Then the hottest team in the PCL, one that moved to within five games of the Pacific Northern leader Reno with 15 to play, fell apart on the mound.
"I mean we made a few mistakes, and they capitalized," Johnson said. "That team over there, they are a good hitting ballclub, and when we make a mistake regardless of how small it is, they take advantage of it. They did a good job tonight and hit the ball in places where they were able to score guys from second base. So hats off to them but we have to get back out there tomorrow."
The Sky Sox, who entered Monday's contest one game in front of the hard-charging Bees 13-5 in August prior to the loss put the game on ice with six in the sixth.
Eleven batters came to the plate during an inning that featured former Bee Brandon Wood making two of the three outs. However, he had three hits, including a homer in the third inning.
Smith, charged with eight runs, allowed four singles in the inning and left with the bases loaded. Adam Russell came out of the bullpen and promptly gave up another single then hit a batter.
David Carpenter replaced Russell and two more runners scored thanks to a single and walk before the inning mercifully came to a close.
Raptors 15, Osprey 9 • Catcher Eric Smith had four of Ogden's 17 hits in its home win over Missoula.
Storylines Sky Sox 12, Bees 5
R Colorado Springs sends 11 runners to the plate and scores six runs in the sixth inning.
• Ryan Langerhans' two-run triple highlights Salt Lake's five-run fourth inning.
• Former Bee Brandon Wood homers and doubles twice for Colorado Springs.