The Salt Lake Trappers let a game get away from them Monday night that may wind up being the difference between making or missing the Pioneer League playoffs.
After taking leads of 4-1 and 9-4, the Trappers were defeated, 10-9, by Idaho Falls when Steve Lopez hit a home run in the bottom of the 7th.A victory would have kept them one game behind Southern Division leading Butte with seven games to play. But, since Butte defeated Pocatello, 10-3, The Trappers fell two games behind.
Salt Lake finishes its road season with games at Pocatello tonight and Wednesday, then comes home for its last five games - against Idaho Falls Thursday and Friday and Pocatello Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
The Trappers have won the Pioneer League championship the past two years. And Monday, it looked like they were poised to make another stretch run. They got five runs in the top of the seventh to break a 4-4 tie. Ray Karczewski hit his second home run of the game and then after three walks, Mando Verdugo hit a grand slam. Verdugo's homer was his 16th and gave him 60 runs batted in, a team record. But the Braves came back on two singles, a double, a walk, an error, a wild pitch and Lopez' homer to win the game.
The Trappers are 37-26 on the season.
Great Falls, with a 47-16 record, has already clinched the Northern Division title.