Salt Lake Bees: Bees' bullpen struggles in 12-10 loss to El Paso
The Bees haven't won back-to-back games in nearly a month, partly because of their inconsistent bullpen.
It happened again Sunday.
On a sizzling afternoon at Smith's Ballpark, Salt Lake watched the El Paso Chihuahuas rally from an early six-run deficit and eventually score a 12-10 Pacific Coast League victory.
Bees' manager Keith Johnson used five relief pitchers in the game. None of them was effective. Over the final four innings, they allowed seven runs and seven hits. After inheriting an 8-5 lead, they walked eight El Paso batters.
"We scored 10 runs," Johnson said. "I cannot be mad at my team for scoring 10 runs [and losing]. ... That should not happen."
Johnson was clearly upset with his bullpen.
"Our hitters were doing a great job ... to provide leads and battle back when we got behind," he said. "But in all three phases, we have to do a better job."
The loss Salt Lake's fifth in the last seven games meant the Bees once again failed to piece together back-to-back victories.
The last time it happened: June 13-14.
Salt Lake got off to a quick start against El Paso starter Jason Lane, a 37-year-old former major league outfielder.
The Bees bunched nine singles in the bottom of the first inning including six straight after two outs and built a 6-0 lead.
Lane kept the Chihuahuas in the game, however, by allowing only four hits over the next 42â3 innings. He was in position to get the win, but the Bees wiped out a 9-8 deficit in the run in the bottom of the sixth.
Salt Lake tied the game again in the seventh when Luis Martinez scored on a fielder's choice by J.B. Shuck, but El Paso regained an 11-10 lead in the top of the eighth.
Bees' reliever Dane De La Rosa started the inning, but he left because of an injury after falling behind leadoff batter Tyler Greene, 3-0.
Fernando Nieve replaced De La Rosa and ended up walking Greene, who scored the go-ahead run on Alex Castellanos' one-out sacrifice fly.
Because De La Rosa was charged for Greene's walk, he also took the loss despite throwing only three pitches.
Storylines Chihuahuas 12, Bees 10
R El Paso rallies from an early six-run deficit and defeats Salt Lake.
• The Chihuahuas score seven runs in the final four innings off the Bees' bullpen.
• Shawn O'Malley goes 4 for 5, highlighting Salt Lake's 17-hit attack.