SALT LAKE CITY — Visiting Tucson handed the Bees a third consecutive loss Wednesday night, and effectively dashed any postseason opportunity for Salt Lake in the 6-4 defeat.
The Bees came into Wednesday night's matchup staring at an uphill battle to punch their playoff ticket — win out the remaining five games and hope that the Aces would do the exact opposite.
Quite the feat for a Salt Lake squad which now clings to a 32-35 record at Spring Mobile Ballpark.
"At the beginning of the year, when we had some continuity in our lineup, we were playing pretty good ball. In the middle when everything was getting shook up … our big league team was going through injuries, and we were losing some guys and getting some guys and adding guys to the mix and taking guys out," said Bees manager Keith Johnson. "Our consistency in play kind of went hand in hand with the consistency of our roster."
For now, the Bees manager is focused on the remaining five games this season to keep his ballclub above .500 as the end draws nearer.
"It's huge. It says something about our team four us to have as bad of a stretch as we did in the middle of the season, for us to come back and not only get into the playoff race and fall back out of that," said Johnson. "To finish above .500 I think is a big deal."
Andrew Romine echoed his coach's comments about finishing the season above that .500 threshold, but stressed the importance of being in the moment and not looking too far ahead.
"That's what we are here from day one," said Romine. "Obviously everyone is looking to go to the big leagues, but what team your on that day is what matters. I'm here today, and if I am here tomorrow then we are all about winning."
NOTEBOOK: The Bees dropped their first series in nearly a month, after winning or splitting seven series' in a row. Matt Long and Trevor Crowe both finished the night 2-for-4 in the tough loss. Crowe smacked a double, and Long recorded a pair of RBIs.
TRIPLE THREAT: Romine delivered a triple again in his first at-bat Wednesday night. Romine joins Kole Calhoun and Long atop the Bees' lineup with seven triples on the season. As a team, Salt Lake has smacked 50 triples, which is second in the PCL.
ON THE MEND: Peter Bourjos went a full nine innings for the second night in row while nursing a sore wrist. Bourjos went 1-for-5 in his third night on the 15-day DL.
ATTENDANCE: A raucous crowd of 6,259 took to the stands and never gave up on the home team.
In short: Sawyer Carroll's line drive single put the visiting team up three runs in the first inning. Ed Lucas and Trevor Crowe both hit doubles in the second inning to pull the Bees within one run of Tucson. Carroll's double in the top of the fifth was the end of the Padres' scoring run.
Bees manager Keith Johnson's take: "Even though we are out of the playoff race, we are still fighting to maintain a winning record."
Up next: vs. Tucson, today, 7:05 p.m. Padres RHP Bear Bay (3-9, 4.84 ERA) vs. Bees LHP Greg Smith (9-9, 4.03 ERA)
This homestand: Thursday-Monday vs. Tucson (Padres)/Sacramento River Cats (Athletics)