SALT LAKE CITY — When the Salt Lake Bees have struggled this season, they've been unable to connect on the big hit.
It was the same old, same old on Monday.
The Bees rallied back from five down, but squandered a golden chance to take the lead in the seventh before eventually falling to Fresno 10-6.
"It's been our Achilles' heel all year, trying to capitalize when we get opportunities," Bees manager Keith Johnson said. "Once again we didn't do that and it cost us late."
After finding itself down 6-1 going into the bottom of the second, Salt Lake (17-35) was able to come all the way back to tie the game in the sixth when Matt Long sent a screamer down the first-base line to score Roberto Lopez and pull the Bees even with the Grizzlies at 6-6.
In the next inning, a golden opportunity presented itself to Salt Lake. The Bees had men on second and third with one out. However, Zach Borenstein struck out swinging and Luis Martinez popped up to Fresno catcher Guillermo Quiroz to end the threat.
The Grizzlies took advantage of the Bees' inability to capitalize. In the top of the eighth Fresno's Nick Noonan singled to left field to score Mark Minicozzi and give the Grizzlies the lead for good. Fresno crushed any hopes of a second Salt Lake comeback by plating three more in the top of the ninth.
Salt Lake starter Justin Thomas got into a heap of trouble early. The Grizzlies jumped on Thomas in the first, smacking him for four hits, including a three-run homer off the bat of Chris Dominguez, and plating four runs.
"He missed a couple spots early," Johnson said. "As soon as he did that they got some good wood on the ball and did some damage."
Fresno struck again in the second, getting three hits and upping its run total to six. Thomas looked to be in for a short afternoon, but he figured some things out.
Through the next five innings, Thomas allowed only two more hits, giving the Bees a chance to get back in the game.Comment on this story
"He settled in nicely, he made some good pitches, and we made some plays behind him," Johnson said. "He made two mistakes and both of them cost him. It was just one of those things that you let a guy work through some things."
Fresno 10, Bees 6
In short: Salt Lake rallied from five down to tie the game 6-6 in the sixth inning, but the Bees couldn't get over the hump and Fresno scored four times in the final two innings to win 10-6.
Up next: Salt Lake at Tacoma, Tuesday, 7:05 p.m.