SALT LAKE CITY — With threatening clouds surrounding Spring Mobile Ballpark and lightning striking all around the stadium, the Tacoma Raniers stormed out to an early seven-run lead against the Salt Lake Bees during an eventual 7-5 victory Friday night.
Tacoma went ahead 7-0 in the fourth inning on the back of timely hitting and two-run home runs by right fielder Carlos Peguero and second basemen Ty Kelly.
Salt Lake was able to fight back with a Tommy Field two-run shot down the left-field line and an RBI single by Efren Navarro to pull the Bees within two runs at 7-5. With lightning strikes illuminating the mountains in the distance, the Bees were unable to produce any of their own and fell to the league-leading Raniers, dropping to four games back in the standings.
Despite the loss, Salt Lake manager Keith Johnson was happy with the way his team competed over the final five innings.
"You play the game for nine innings," Johnson said. "You play the game, not the score — so regardless of the score the game is going to continue to go on. We were able to get a couple of single runs there and then we got a couple to get us close late. But we weren't able to get the big hit."
Salt Lake starting pitcher Barry Enright gave up seven earned runs over four innings, but the bullpen collaborated to toss a shutout over the final five innings to give Salt Lake a chance.
"He made a couple of mistakes early," Johnson said of his starter. "This team has been giving him fits all year. This is his third start (against Tacoma) and for whatever reason they have been able to hit him well all year. I think he did a good job. He just got himself into bad counts early on and they were able to put up some quick numbers and jump out to a lead early."
The Bees and Raniers will take to the diamond at 7:05 p.m. Saturday in game three of their four-game set this weekend.