Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake’s seven-game skid came to a halt Wednesday. The Bees defeated Colorado Springs 8-7 at Spring Mobile Ballpark, using a five-run seventh inning to win for the first time since April 22.
“Well, it’s a start. We played better baseball tonight. There are still a few hiccups out there where we could have been a little bit more efficient, but we got the W," said Salt Lake manager Keith Johnson. “We’ll take them how they come right now. A new month, a new result.”
Offensively, he noted, the Bees put together some really good at-bats.
Trailing 5-3 in the bottom of the seventh, Salt Lake opened its rally with an RBI double by Jimmy Swift. Bill Hall later drove in two runs with a single and Efren Navarro knocked in a pair with a shot over the right-field fence to put the Bees on top for good in a seesaw affair.
“That’s what it’s all about — having good approaches when the game is on the line,” Hall said. “You’ve got to stick with your approach and you’ve got to get the job done there.”
Colorado Springs did, however, manage to make things interesting right down to the end. The Sky Sox scored runs in the eighth and ninth innings to cut into Salt Lake’s 8-5 lead.
The Bees, though, managed to hold on.
“I thought our guys did a very good job of competing for nine innings tonight,” Johnson said.
Salt Lake overcame a 1-0 deficit in the fourth when Brad Hawpe evened the score with an RBI single and Trent Oeltjen added a two-run homer to give the Bees a 3-1 advantage.
The lead was trimmed to 3-2 in the fifth before Colorado Springs erased it with an RBI single by D.J. LeMahieu and a two-run triple from Corey Dickerson in the top of the seventh.
Salt Lake’s game-deciding heroics followed.
After Tuesday’s 9-3 setback that extended the losing streak to seven, Johnson was confident his team was going to work things out.
“We’re going to get more efficient at the things that we do and we’re going to get back in that win column,” he said.
Johnson added that “everything comes around.”
“It’s just part of baseball. Sometimes you have the winning streaks and things are going well and sometimes, you know, obviously, (things) aren’t going so well,” he said. “You just have to stay together and just keep grinding. It’s a long season. It’s still early.”
The Bees, Navarro continued, just need to keep battling.
GAME NOTES: Salt Lake starter Billy Buckner had a season-high nine strikeouts for the Bees. ... The attendance was 3,633. ... Bees broadcaster Steve Klauke, who has called the action throughout the franchise’s 20-year history in Salt Lake, will miss just his 10th game Thursday to attend his daughter Lisa’s graduation from the University of Utah.
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