PCL baseball: Tucson beats slumping Salt Lake, 6-1
This wasn't supposed to happen not after the Salt Lake Bees started the season with nine wins in their first 11 games.
After Tucson's 6-1 victory Monday night at Spring Mobile Ballpark, however, the Bees are officially floundering.
Salt Lake has lost 15 of its last 21 games, including three of four to the previously struggling Padres.
The Bees are now 15-17 this season and it could get worse. They open an eight-game road trip Tuesday night at New Orleans, after a 6 a.m. flight to Dallas and a two-hour layover.
"We're a little inconsistent right now, whether it's offensively or on the mound," said manager Keith Johnson. "We just have to find our groove a little bit."
Call-ups have hurt the Bees, who still have the confidence of their manager.
"Our guys will be fine," Johnson said. "Obviously we have to grind it out a little more. When we get back to full strength, things will be fine. These guys are professionals. They're going to go about their business the right way and then they'll find a way out of it."
Against Tucson, the Bees fell behind in the top of the first when Padres leadoff man Dean Anna lined a 1-2 pitch just inside the right field foul pole.
After Tucson made it 2-0 in the top of the fourth, Salt Lake got on the board in the fifth.
With two out, Luke Carlin and Jimmy Swift singled. After Andrew Romine walked, Roberto drew another walk on a 3-2 pitch, forcing in a run to make it 2-1.
Still batting, the Bees had a chance to take the lead. But on another 3-2 pitch, Luis Rodriguez bounced out to end the inning.
Tucson added a run in the sixth before the Padres scored three times in the seventh to build a 6-1 lead. James Darnell's two-out, two-run single was the key hit.
Storylines Padres 6, Bees 1
R Tucson hands Salt Lake its 15th loss in the last 21 games.
• Padres designated hitter James Darnell goes 3 for 4 and drives in three runs.
• Bees starter Billy Buckner (3-2) allows three runs in seven innings and suffers the loss.