SALT LAKE CITY — After dropping the first two games of a series against the Omaha Storm Chasers (59-59), the Salt Lake Bees (67-51) were able to split the series at 2-games apiece with a 3-0 victory Tuesday night in front of 6,522 fans at Spring Mobile Ballpark.
Both teams' bats were quiet until the bottom of the sixth inning, when Salt Lake's Andrew Romine came up to the plate and broke up lefty pitcher Everett Teaford's (L, 4-3) no-hitter with a base knock to left field.
Matt Long then walked, putting a runner in scoring position with one out for left fielder Roberto Lopez, who roped a double to the gap in right-center field, scoring Romine and landing himself on second base.
First baseman Efren Navarro then stepped to the plate and smacked a single, bringing home both Long and Lopez and putting the Bees up 3-0 after six innings of play.
Romine was impressive at the plate, as he went 2 for 3 with two singles to lead the home team.
"Drew has been doing a great job for us at the top of the lineup. Once again, tonight, he was kind of a catalyst for us in that inning and did a great job disrupting that pitcher's timing," said Bees manager Keith Johnson. "Once he got to second base, Lopez got ahead of the count and we were able to push across three runs, so it was a great night for him (Romine)."
Starting pitcher Barry Enright (W, 7-5) kept the Storm Chasers scoreless through seven innings, and gave up just five hits, zero runs and one walk while striking out four batters to help the Bees take and protect the lead.
"He just did a great job attacking the zone, throwing quality strikes early in counts, forcing the issue, making them swing the bats and making them mishit balls," said Johnson.
Reliever Jason Urquidez (H, 1) strolled out to the mound in the top of the eighth for the Bees, giving up back-to-back hits to the first two batters before managing to get out of the inning virtually unscathed.
Urquidez's two-hit, zero-run eighth inning put the home team just three outs away from another victory.
The Bees came out in the bottom of the eighth and got back-to-back singles from right fielder Drew Heid and Romine, but failed to get any insurance runs across the plate.
Reliever Kevin Johnson (S, 3) got the nod in the top of the ninth and came out to wrap things up for Salt Lake. Johnson quickly got three up, three down and helped the Bees earn the 3-0 victory, splitting the series 2-2 after dropping the first two matchups between the ballclubs.Comment on this story
"We're not lacking any confidence right now. It's just a matter of just continuing to play quality baseball and take care of our side of the ball," Johnson added.
With the win, Salt Lake improved to 6-2 on its homestand and 67-51 overall, stretching its lead over the Tacoma Rainiers to five games in the Pacific Northern Division.
The Bees will kick off an eight-game road trip Thursday night against the Round Rock Express (62-56) at 6:05 p.m. at Dell Diamond Stadium.
Ryan Love was born and raised in Holladay, Utah and is a full-time student at the University of Utah studying communications. Ryan became a part-time scoreboarder and sports reporter for the Deseret News in October, 2012. EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org