SALT LAKE CITY — One of the rarest feats in minor league baseball is the day off. This year the Salt Lake Bees will take exactly nine days off over the course of the 144 game season.
Every off day is a valuable commodity to rest up mentally and physically during the grind of the season, but perhaps Wednesday's off day came at a bad time for the Bees. Salt Lake racked up 44 runs and 61 hits in their previous four-game series against the Padres, but the bats went cold against Reno pitcher Barry Enright (2-1, 1.75) Thursday night as the Aces beat the Bees 4-1 in a rain-shortened game.
"You love your days off that's for sure. Everyone enjoys a day off, but after a series like that you kind of want to get back out there," said outfielder Kole Calhoun, who went 0-2 on Thursday night after hitting .400 against Tucson. "We are swinging it so well and then boom you've got a day off. Then you have a day to think on it and sit on it."
The Bees came into the night leading the PCL with a .322 batting average, but could only collect three hits against Enright, who struck out three and walked just one in his six innings of work before the rain started coming down.
While the off day may have snapped the hot streak the team was riding on, it was still a benefit to the club according to Bees manager Keith Johnson.
"We've been playing some pretty good baseball, but the off-day came at a good time. We needed the off day," said Johnson. "There are a few guys that are banged up and a lot of guys that have played a lot of games in a row so it was an opportunity to get a mental day off. … We came back today and there was a little bit of rust, but hopefully tomorrow we'll be able to get back at it."
The same two teams will play the next three nights at Spring Mobile Ballpark, with first pitch coming at 6:35 p.m.
NOTEBOOK: Coming into the game the Bees had outscored opponents 82-33 in the first four innings, but were outscored by Reno 4-1 in the first four frames. … Salt Lake is now 1-3 when they are outhit by their opponent. … Garrett Richards leads the PCL in strikeouts with 29 on the season, he had two tonight. … Attendance was 3,168.
In short: Salt Lake pitcher Garrett Richards brought a perfect 3-0 record and sparkling 1.67 ERA into the game, but did not have his best stuff against the Aces. Richards gave up four runs on eight hits and walked five in 32/3 innings pitched.
Andrew Romine scored the only run for the Bees in the fourth inning, but any attempt at a late Salt Lake comeback was stifled by rain shower that forced the game to be called after six innings.
Bees manger Keith Johnson's take: "Their pitcher hit his spots and Garrett (Richards) had a rough night for the first time this year. I thought he did a pretty good job in the first couple innings limiting the damage. It could have gotten a lot worse earlier."
Up next: vs. Reno, 6:35 p.m. tonight
This homestand: Today-Sunday vs. Reno (Diamondbacks)