Just when the Salt Lake Bees needed it, Jarrett Grube pitched a masterpiece Friday night at Spring Mobile Ballpark.
Grube allowed two hits, struck out 11 and walked only one to help Salt Lake score a 9-0 victory over Omaha in Game 3 of the Pacific Coast League championship league series.
O Jarrett Grube pitches a two-hitter to lead Salt Lake over Omaha in Game 3.
» Roberto Lopez goes 3 for 4 including a two-run homer for the Bees, who pound out 17 hits.
PCL championship series
The Pacific Coast League championship series schedule:
Game 1 » Omaha 3, Salt Lake 2
Game 1 » Omaha 2, Salt Lake 1
Game 3 » Salt Lake 9, Omaha 0
Game 4 » Omaha at Salt Lake, 6:35 p.m.
x-Game 5 » Omaha at Salt Lake, 1:05 p.m.
Down 2-0 in the best-of-five series, the Bees needed a win to reach Game 4, which will be played Saturday night.
Grube enabled Salt Lake to stay alive by throwing the first complete game shutout in Bees playoff history. He allowed a two-out double in the second inning and a leadoff single in the fourth.
Otherwise, the Storm Chasers were overmatched against Grube, who has now allowed one run and six hits in 14 innings in two appearances during the PCL playoffs.
"He started off really well and it seemed — as the game progressed — he got stronger and stronger," Bees manager Keith Johnson said. "… He was aggressive in the zone and forced guys to swing the bat. It was definitely a really, really good performance."
According to Grube, he was "just trying to make pitches. … We made a game plan, stuck with it and came out on top."
Asked about keeping the Bees’ season alive, Grube smiled and said, "… It feels awesome. I definitely didn’t expect that when I woke up this morning."
Offensively, the Bees finally exploded against Omaha.
After scoring only three runs on nine hits in Games 1 and 2, they pounded out 17 hits against five Storm Chaser pitchers in Game 3.
Efren Navarro went 3 for 4 with a pair of RBI singles, Roberto Lopez went 3 for 4 including a two-run homer, and Scott Cousins contributed three hits.
"Getting hits is just as contagious as not getting hits," Johnson said. "It was good to see guys come out and find a hole."
The Bees grabbed a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second off Omaha starter Justin Marks.
Cousins led off by doubling and going to third on right fielder Anthony Seratelli’s error. On a 1-2 pitch, Drew Heid followed with an RBI single up the middle.
After Luke Carlin bunted him to second base, Heid scored when Tommy Field chopped a two-out grounder to third baseman Rey Navarro, who threw the ball away.
In the fourth, Salt Lake scored twice with two out to make it 4-0.
After Marks retired Rusty Ryal and Field, Matt Long singled. Lopez, the next batter, worked the count to 2-2 before launching a towering home run to left field.
From there, the Bees coasted to victory.
"It’s one game," Johnson said. "They don’t carry over. We know that. … So we have to do it again."
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