Hugh Carey, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — On the day that the Salt Lake Bees announced they signed an extension to continue as the Los Angeles Angels' Triple-A affiliate, the club hoped to celebrate with a victory.
That'll have to wait at least another day.
Albuquerque rattled off 20 hits, blasted six home runs, and scored in each of the first seven innings to cruise to a 15-9 win over the Bees Monday in front of a crowd of 5,028 at Smith's Ballpark.
"We've just been playing some bad baseball lately," Bees manager Keith Johnson said. "You got to be honest, you got to call a spade a spade. It's not necessarily the things that show up in the stat sheets like the errors, but it's the non-plays like the ball that should be a double play that's not turned. Those have been our nemesis all year."
The Bees have been on the wrong side of history more than once this short season, and two Isotope players nearly piled on more historical misery. Albuquerque's Clint Robinson and Alex Guerrero both finished one hit away from the cycle.
Robinson homered in the first, tripled in the third and doubled in the sixth to only need a single for the rare feat. He had two chances, but a walk in the seventh was followed by a groundout in the ninth to end his night.
After failing to reach base in his first two at-bats, Guerrero collected a home run, triple and single between the fifth and seventh innings. He was on deck when the Isoptopes collected their third out of the ninth.
With the loss, the Bees have now dropped 14 of their last 15 games and sit 18 games back of Las Vegas in their division.
Even with all the on-field struggles, current Salt Lake resident Johnson couldn't mask his enthusiasm with the extended contract between the Bees and their parent club.
"It's awesome," he said. "This is a great place for development purposes. The stadium, the fans, the city, I'm kind of biased in that respect. There a lot of guys that are up in the big leagues right now that came through here. Our farm system is starting to develop some guys, like (C.J.) Cron, (Mike) Trout. It's a win-win for everybody."
The Bees will look to celebrate the extension properly when they welcome in an expected crowd of 12,000 schoolchildren for a matinee game Tuesday morning at 10:35 a.m.
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