A bad start and worse finish doomed the Bees on Monday afternoon.
After watching an early five-run lead melt away, Fresno feasted on Salt Lake’s bullpen in the eighth and ninth innings to escape with a 10-6 victory at Smith’s Ballpark.
Grizzlies 10, Bees 6
» Mark Minicozzi goes 4 for 4 with three RBIs to lead Fresno past Salt Lake.
» Veteran catcher Luis Martinez goes 4 for 4 with a pair of doubles for the Bees.
» Salt Lake’s bullpen allows four runs and five hits in the eighth and ninth innings.
The loss dropped the Bees to 17-35 this season, including a 3-5 record on a weeklong homestand that concluded with the loss to the Grizzlies.
Fresno took a 4-0 lead in the first inning after a three-run homer by Chris Dominguez. In the second, Juan Ciriaco’s solo homer helped the Grizzlies make it 6-1.
From there, Salt Lake starter Justin Thomas pitched well. He allowed only two hits through the seventh and enabled the Bees to fight back.
"He did a good job," manager Keith Johnson said. "He missed a couple of spots early and, as soon as he did that, they put some good wood on the ball and did some damage.
"But after that he settled in nicely. He made good pitches and we made some plays behind him. He got deep in the ballgame for us, which is something we needed."
After the rocky start, Salt Lake rallied.
It was 6-5 in the bottom of the fifth, when the Bees loaded the bases with one out.
Fresno starter Chris Heston got out of trouble, however, when Taylor Lindsey popped out to short left and Zach Borenstein struck out.
In the seventh, the game was tied, 6-6, when the Bees put runners on second and third with one out. But they again failed to score when Borenstein fanned and Luis Martinez popped up.
"That’s been our Achilles heel for much of the year — not capitalizing when we get opportunities," Johnson said. "Once again, we didn’t capitalize on a couple of opportunities to take the lead and it cost us late."
Johnson replaced Thomas in the eighth, when the Grizzlies took the lead with a run against reliever Yoslan Herrera.
Fresno broke the game open in the ninth with three more runs, including two on Travis Isikawa’s towering homer with a man on against Cory Rasmus.
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