Salt Lake was 0-3 in games that longtime Buzz lefty Dan Serafini started in 1998. On a chilly Monday night at Franklin Quest, it looked as though No. 4 was on the way.
Serafini, however, wriggled out of bases-loaded situations in the second and third innings, allowing one run each, got out of a two-hit fourth with no runs thanks to a double play and toughened up as the Buzz posted a 5-4 win over Tucson."He had pretty good stuff there at the end," said Buzz manager Phil Roof after the Buzz posted their first back-to-back wins against the same team this season. They won two in a row once before, but against different teams.
Serafini is now 1-1. "I don't know whether he was waiting for us to score runs to put his best game effort out there or what," joked Roof.
Salt Lake also beat the Sidewinders 12-8 Sunday afternoon, and with Monday's win, improved its record to 8-8. Tucson is 11-7. The two meet again Tuesday night at the Franklin Quest Field. Probable pitchers are Reid Cornelius (2-1) for Tucson and newcomer Frank Rod-riguez (0-0) for Salt Lake. Rodriguez (0-0, 13.50 ERA) was op-tioned to Salt Lake by Minnesota last week.
Back-to-back, one-out, fifth-inning solo homers to left field by Esteban Beltre and Corey Koskie gave Salt Lake and Serafini a 5-2 lead that lasted until the eighth. Serafini left after the sixth, having given up nine hits but just two runs.
Tucson's Rob Ryan - filling in for Brent Cookson, injured when he hit the centerfield wall stealing a near-homer from Koskie in the sixth - led off the eighth with a homer to right to start a two-run rally. That was stopped dead when reliever Fred Rath got 'Winder Tim Florez with two out and two on. Rath set down the last four batters with grounders.
"Those two (Buzz homers) had galvanized paint on them," said Roof, referring to the way Esteban's sky-high hit just made it over the left-field fence and Koskie's hit the crossbar and glanced over the chain-links.
The leadoff homer by Scott Stahoviak to tie the game at 2-2 in the fourth was considerably longer, and probably for good reason. Stahoviak was at the plate in the third with runners at first and third and two away when Koskie was picked off third.
"When he got picked off," said Roof, "(coach) Bill Springman said, before Scotty went up, `Watch him, he's going to hit a home run.' It happened."
Jon Shave followed the Sta-hoviak special with a double, took third on a groundout and scored on a sacrifice fly for a 3-2 Buzz lead after four.
When this series started Saturday, Tucson was first in the PCL South and the Buzz got home from an overtime doubleheader Friday in Vancouver only four hours before game time. Roof said his team was "intimidated" in that 15-1 loss. He said Ricky Bones' 12-8 win Sunday helped turn things. Other than Sidewinder Cory Lidle, who started Saturday, Tucson's last four starting pitchers have gone a combined 13 innings and given up 24 runs on 24 hits. Monday starter Brad Cornett (1-1) gave up eight hits and all five runs.