Fresno Grizzlies starting pitcher Rogelio Amenteros hadn’t allowed a run in his previous 17 innings entering Friday night The Salt Lake Bees scored in the first inning to snap that streak, but that wasn’t enough as they fell 5-2 at Smith’s Ballpark in front of an announced crowd of 11,901. The Bees scored both of their runs off of Amenteros (8-1), but Bees starter John Lamb gave up four runs – all coming on a pair of two-run home runs by Preston Tucker and Drew Ferguson – and the Bees went 3 for 13 with runners in scoring position and didn’t score after the fourth inning.
The Bees (71-68) remain in the playoff hunt with three games remaining in the regular season. They entered the night in a tie with El Paso for the Pacific Coast League Southern Division title. El Paso, which holds the tiebreaker between the two teams, played on the West Coast on Friday.
TURNING POINT: Fresno broke open a 2-2 tie in the sixth on a leadoff triple by Preston Tucker and a two-run home run by Drew Ferguson. They tacked on another run in the eighth.
BEE’S MVP: Sherman Johnson went 2 for 4 with an RBI and a double. He was the only player in the Bees lineup with two hits.
HIDDEN HERO: Michael Hermosillo went 1 for 3, reached base twice, and scored the Bees’ first run on the night.
QUOTABLE: “That guy is 7-1, you know what I mean,” Bees manager Keith Johnson said of Armenteros. “With runners in scoring position I think teams are hitting 120-something off of him or 140-something with runners in scoring position and two outs. He’s a good pitcher. He was 7-1 for a reason, 8-1 now. He did his job just as much as our guys didn’t do theirs. Obviously the lineup is changing and guys are starting to get comfortable with each other. Hopefully it will happen sooner rather than later with three games left. We ran into a buzzsaw tonight.”
ANGEL ANGLE: The Los Angeles Angels recalled pitcher Noe Ramirez, infielder Nolan Fontana, catcher Carlos Perez, and selected the contract of pitcher Jason Gurka as major-league rosters expanded. Gurka pitched two-thirds scoreless innings of relief for the Angels on Friday night. Right-handed pitcher Garrett Richards remains with the Bees on a rehab assignment.
HISTORY LESSON: The Bees entered Friday night with a 4.90 team ERA, which ranked 11th in the Pacific Coast League. They haven’t finished team ERA below 5.00 since 2008 (4.78).
NEXT: The Bees continue their final series of the regular season with a 7:05 p.m. start against Fresno at Smith’s Ballpark on Saturday.