The ball cracked off Grant Green’s bat. The Salt Lake Bees shortstop started to trot toward first, wondering if he had just knocked in the tying run in the bottom of the ninth.
The long shot sailed and sailed toward center, but landed safely in the glove of Fresno’s Gary Brown at the warning track.
Fresno 10, Bees 7Grant Green nearly ties the game in the ninth, but flies out at the warning track.
» Former U. slugger C.J. Cron hits his first Triple-A grand slam.
No heroics on Wednesday night. Not for the Salt Lake Bees.
A night after the Bees (4-3) won a 12-inning matchup on a walkoff homer, they fell short in a 10-7 loss to Fresno (2-5). Green’s final shot fell feet shy of giving his team a shot at a second straight dramatic win at Smith’s Ballpark.
While manager Keith Johnson took no pleasure in the result, he was encouraged by the journey his team took to get there. Down 7-0 early, the game could’ve gone a lot differently.
"I’m just pleased at how our guys went about our business and played for 27 outs," Johnson said.
The bulk of the comeback came in the sixth inning, when the Bees were down 9-1. The team had only two hits to that point but the bats heated up as four Bees singled to open the inning.
C.J. Cron, the third baseman who had hit the game-winner the night before, brought the game within reach with one swing of his bat. Grand slam, the first of his Triple-A tenure in Salt Lake City.
The teams would trade runs — one apiece — after that, and the Bees made the final inning interesting by getting two runners on base with two outs before Green’s hit fell just shy of the wall.
"I thought it had a chance," Cron said. "That’s kind of how this team is — you can never give up. Our lineup is pretty stacked, and we can put up runs at any time. He had a good pitch to hit, and he just barely, barely missed it."
The lineup, Johnson acknowledged, lost a little bit of heat with outfielder J.B. Shuck getting called up to the Angels hours before the game. But it also relieves a bit of a logjam with some of the bigger bats in the lineup, he said.
The Bees may well be more concerned about pitching.
They were in a 4-0 hole before ever getting up to bat, thanks to a first-inning grand slam by Adam Duvall. It was a difficult start overall for Jose Alvarez as seven Grizzlies crossed home in the first three innings. Four errors by the Bees didn’t help, though Alvarez did pitch two scoreless innings to end his five-inning start.
David Carpenter came in to relieve Alvarez, but also struggled, giving up five hits and three runs in two innings of work. The team found its most steady effort behind Yoslan Herrera, who allowed only one hit and no walks.
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