Minor league baseball: Late home run stings Salt Lake
The Salt Lake Bees had the lead late in the game, which usually means victory.
The problem, though, was the almighty home run, which has been kind to opposing teams and a burden to Bees pitchers.
And that one swing, in the ninth inning no less, sent the game to extra innings where Alvin Colina's RBI single in the 10th gave the Colorado Springs Sky Sox a 7-6 win over the Bees on Monday in the first of a three-game series.
Salt Lake (34-30) is now 1 1/2 games ahead of Colorado Springs (31-30) for first place in the Pacific Coast League Northern Division.
With a 6-3 lead in the ninth inning, the Bees seemed destined to win, as they had a 27-0 record when leading after the seventh inning.
But Ian Stewart's three-run home run in the top of the ninth awoke the 7,054 fans and the Bees to know that the game wasn't over.
Colina's single that scored Jayson Nix in the 10th inning eventually ended that sterling post-seventh-inning record.
"No one's perfect," said Bees starting pitcher Jonathon Rouwenhorst, who pitched six innings and gave up two runs on six hits. "Everyone has their bad outings. It happens."
Bees manager Brian Harper described his feelings about Stewart's homer.
"Not good," Harper said, with a half-hearted laugh. "But I still felt like, 'OK, well, we'll score one in the ninth,' because we'd come back in other games. It just didn't happen."
Stewart's home run was the 67th the Bees have given up this season.
Entering the game, Salt Lake was tied for the most home runs allowed in the PCL with Tacoma and New Orleans.
Bees pitcher Jason Bulger gave up Stewart's game-tying home run and Matt Wilhite (2-2) gave up Colina's single.
Colina finished 2-for-5 with that game-winning RBI.
Ramon Ramirez (1-0) won his first game for the Sky Sox with four strikeouts over the eighth and ninth innings.
Salt Lake threatened in the bottom of the 10th.
The Bees had runners on first and second with two outs, but Jeff Mathis grounded to shortstop for the final out of the game.
* The Bees entered the game tied for the most home runs allowed in the PCL with New Orleans and Tacoma.
* The Bees are 27-1 when leading after seven innings.
* Alvin Colina's 10th-inning single drives in Jayson Nix for the winning run.