A triple and a single had just given Helena a run to cut the Trapper lead to 4-2 in the fourth inning Tuesday night, but Salt Lake catcher Phil Evans made a spectacular catch on a pop foul, landing horizontally on the ledge that forms part of the Derks Field backstop before rolling off and keeping the baserunner from advancing. A sharp 1-4-3 double play ended the Brewer fourth.
It was the kind of fielding display that gets teams rolling.Well, most teams.
The Trappers rolled the wrong way again as Helena picked on four Trapper relief pitchers for 12 runs in the final five innings for a 14-7 win.
The Brewers won Monday's game 12-4 in somewhat the same manner, busting open a close game in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings by scoring 11 runs.
"We haven't been able to do that two nights in a row all season," said Helena Manager Dusty Rhodes.
"They (Trappers) scored a lot early on (starting pitcher Gustavo) Federico, and that's not the way he does things," said Rhodes. "We had to get one or two runs to keep close, and then we broke it open."
Helena right fielder Darrin White, who had four hits and three RBI Tuesday, didn't degrade Trapper pitching. "We're just being more patient, more selective at the plate. It's halfway through the season, and as much pitching as we've seen, we've learned from our mistakes," White said.
He was kind.
Trapper Manager Barry Moss wasn't.
"Bad pitching, bad defense," he said.
Starter Dan Ryan, making his first appearance since joining the club on Friday, wasn't the problem. He pitched four innings of four-hit, two-run ball before tiring. He was relieved by Chris Skyrd. "I didn't want to force him," said Moss of Ryan's early exit that seemed to jump-start Helena.
"The pitchers should pitch better than they did," said Moss. "They're pitching high, they're walking guys - that's not acceptable.
"But," he added, "our defense let us down tonight. A couple of fielding plays should have been made."
Moss was agitated by a potential double play that would have gotten the Trappers out of the seventh inning with no damage done. Instead, shortstop Ray Karczewski's throw to second baseman J.D. Ramirez was too high, and no outs were recorded. Helena scored one on the error and three more in the inning.
That took Helena from a 7-6 deficit to a 10-7 lead, and the Brewers added one in the eighth on a walk and a White triple and three in the ninth on a hit batsman, three singles and a sacrifice fly.
Karczewski threw White out at home in the eighth to save a run, but it was too late - the Trappers hadn't sent more than four men to the plate in an inning since the fifth.
"Again, we're a two-inning team," said Moss. "We get a big hit, get a rally going, and then we lay down for too long."
Mike Bible clubbed a line-drive three-run homer for a four-run Trapper first. Moss used Bible, normally a catcher, in right field - he hasn't played there since high school - while resting Gerard Giustino's injury-blackened right hand and .351 batting average. Bible's hitting .321 after a 2-for-4 night.
The Trapper fifth found Evans singling to lead off a three-run inning. Ramirez singled and scored with Evans on a Beaulac triple, and Beaulac scored on a throwing error.
Helena remains in town for games Wednesday and Thursday.