Tom Smart, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake Buzz were back for an evening, but '90s night could not spark the home team to a late-game rally.
The Bees, wearing retro pinstriped Buzz uniforms to celebrate the original name of the franchise, gave themselves a little false hope heading into the final inning of a game against Las Vegas but fell 6-4 at Spring Mobile Ballpark on Friday evening.
With a one-run deficit in the bottom of the eighth, Bees right fielder Drew Heid doubled to left field and drove Robbie Widlansky home, tying the score at 4-4 and creating some momentum.
In the top of the ninth, however, 51s third baseman Zach Lutz sent his own line drive to right field, which dropped short of Heid, sending home Eric Campbell and reclaiming the Las Vegas lead.
A balk on a throw to third led to one more run and the 51s established a lead the Bees could not overcome.
The Salt Lake team started the game off strong as Roberto Lopez and Luis Jimenez hit back-to-back singles that moved Matt Long around the bases in the bottom of the first inning. The Bees scored two more runs in the third inning when third baseman Andy Marte hit an RBI double to center, scoring Efren Navarro, and then Widlansky singled to bring home Marte.
Marte finished 2 for 4; Widlansky was 1 for 3; and center fielder Scott Cousins was 2 for 2. Campbell, of Las Vegas, was 3 for 5 at the plate and Lutz was 2 for 5 with two RBIs.
Robert Carson earned the win for the 51s, striking out two in just one inning. Las Vegas starter Chris Schwinden struck out six batters in 5 2/3 innings to give the 51s a strong start.
Bees pitcher Cory Rasmus suffered the loss, pitching just two-thirds of an inning but giving up the two crucial runs in the top of the ninth inning. Tommy Hanson made his Salt Lake debut Friday, striking out three batters in his five innings on the mound. With the start, Hanson became the 33rd pitcher to make an appearance for the Bees this season. That number is two shy of the franchise record set in 2010.
In spite of the loss, the Bees maintained the best record in the PCL at 73-54 as well as a substantial lead over Tacoma in the Pacific Northern Conference.
Sarah Thomas earned a degree in Mathematics from the University of Utah and is currently pursuing an MBA at Westminster College. She has been covering sports for the Deseret News since 2008.