PCL baseball: Pitching struggles lead to Bees' seventh straight loss
Thirty-five hits spread across a series wouldn't be too bad, but the Salt Lake Bees have given up that many in only two nights.
Tuesday brought no relief to a club that has been strapped recently for a quality start on the mound. The Bees (12-14) slid in their seventh straight game, dropping a 9-3 decision to the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (14-9) at Spring Mobile Ballpark.
It is in part a reflection of a problem afflicting the organization, in part a measure of the team's own injuries and waning depth. But manager Keith Johnson, coming out of the shelling, took a bit of comfort that after the team's final April game, there's a lot more ball to be played.
"It's a tough stretch for us, we're going through one of those right now," he said. "But everything comes back in a circle, and it's our turn on the backside of it. We've just got to grind through it as best we can knowing that we'll get back to winning."
Much like Monday night, Tuesday's start was an ominous sign. Orangel Arenas pitched himself into a hole quickly, giving up four hits and a walk while allowing four runs to score in the first inning. He ate up a few more innings before getting pulled after going into a 7-0 deficit, with 11 hits against him.
The striking difference from the previous night was that the Bees batters couldn't seem to catch up with Drew Pomeranz's fastballs.
Through six innings, the Bees managed only three hits against the Sky Sox starter while striking out seven times. The notable standout was Efren Navarro, who was able to knock a solo homer in the fourth for Pomeranz's sole earned run in the win.
"I was able to put together a good at-bat against him, but for the most part he pitched well," Navarro said. "He pitched to contact and looked like he was locating the ball well. And he was mixing in his off-speed pitch, so I take my hat off to him."
The Bees gathered a few more runs late, thanks to a two-run shot by Luis Rodriguez, but never got many more runners aboard. The team wrapped up with six hits and only three walks in the game.
The bullpen was able to bring some stability, although they were stretched thin. Elvin Ramirez had a rough stretch in the sixth, but Rob Delaney, Jeremy Berg and Ryan Braiser had success in a combined five innings of work.
Johnson acknowledged it hadn't been ideal for the bullpen to get so much mileage the last few nights, but said he expected deeper starts for the rest of the week's games.
Storylines Sky Sox 9, Bees 3
R The Sky Sox get 18 hits against Salt Lake's pitching staff.
• Sox starter Drew Pomeranz holds the Bees to three hits and one run in six innings.
• Efren Navarro gets a home run and a double to lead Salt Lake.