The Salt Lake Bees gave up four runs in the first two innings and never recovered in a 5-3 loss to the Reno Aces (41-25) in front of an announced 4,434 at Smith's Ballpark on Wednesday night.
The Bees collected half of their six hits in the bottom of the ninth. Kaleb Cowart was the lone player with two hits for the Bees (36-30). Nolan Fontana, Cesar Puello and Dustin Ackley each drove in runs.
Turning Point • After scoring a pair of first- inning runs, Reno started the second inning with four consecutive men reaching base. Kristopher Negron's RBI triple and Hank Conger's RBI single doubled the Reno lead.
Bees MVP • Kaleb Cowart went 2-for-4 with two doubles.
Hidden Hero • Manny Banuelos pitched 3 1⁄3 scoreless innings in relief and struck out seven and walked one. He allowed three hits.
Flashing Leather • Bees relief pitcher Jason Gurka pounced off the mound and snagged a bouncer up the middle with runner on first and no outs in the seventh to start at double play. He tossed to shortstop Rey Navarro who stepped on the bag, left and threw to first in time to get Conger at first.
Quoteworthy • "Everything was good, all pitches. Everything," Banuelos said of his outing. "I've been working with my pitching coach between my outings. I feel like my slider — cutter, whatever — it was much better, and I feel like I tried to be a little bit more aggressive and throw a lot strikes. That helps out a lot."
Angel Angle • Bees relief pitcher Brooks Pounders got moved into a starting role on Wednesday after Los Angeles promoted the day's scheduled starter, Parker Bridwell, in the wake of Tuesday night's extra-inning affair against the Yankees. Reliever Mike Morin, who had been called up the previous day, got optioned back to Triple-A.
What's next • The Bees will continue their four-game series against Reno on Thursday at 7:05 p.m. at Smith's Ballpark.