It was only a matter of time before the wheels would fall off defensively for the Nashville Sounds, and Saturday night at Franklin Quest Field, the Salt Lake Buzz were ready to strike when it did.
In 35 games the Sounds had committed 51 errors, and their last three in Salt Lake's four-run eighth inning led directly to the Buzz's 5-2 victory."They gave us a chance, they made three errors," Salt Lake manager Phil Roof said. "They gave us a chance to do something, and we took advantage of it."
Trailing 2-1 heading into the bottom of the eighth, Esteban Beltre reached base on an error to start the inning. Jeff Smith also reached on a fielding error, and then a throwing error on the same play pushed him to second and Beltre to third with nobody out.
Ken Ramos, a late replacement for Jamie Ogden, who injured his left shoulder in a play at second Friday night, belted a two-run triple to give the Buzz the lead for good. After Jeff Ferguson grounded out and Scott Stahoviak struck out, Nashville reliever Rich Sauveur intentionally walked Chad Rupp only to surrender a two-run double to Corey Koskie one hitter later.
With the victory the Buzz improve to 16-17 and win the series with Nashville, 3-1. Now the Buzz face Oklahoma in a four-game series beginning today at 2 p.m. at Franklin Quest, and when these two clubs met last week, the Redhawks swept Salt Lake.
Salt Lake's Travis Baptist (4-2, 1.09 ERA), who lost a 1-0 game to the Redhawks a week ago, battles Mark Small (2-2, 3.54 ERA).
The Buzz will need to give Baptist a little more run support than they did Benj Sampson, who got the no decision Saturday.
"Sampson was doing a pretty good job pitching and we weren't giving him any breathing room," Roof said. "For 62/3 he pitched pretty good."
Roof said he wanted to get Sampson through seven innings, but in trying to get the last out in the seventh, he surrendered four-straight singles, with Steve Bieser's and Randy Brown's being RBI singles, which gave the Sounds the brief 2-1 lead before Ramos & Co. exploded for Salt Lake in the bottom of the eighth to record the victory.
Sampson (2-1) allowed seven hits and two runs while walking two and striking out four, but the offense didn't come through for him.
"When's he's (Sampson) got a good effort like that we want to win it for him," Roof said, but Travis Miller upped his record to 1-1 with his 21/3 scoreless relief innings.
Nashville's Tavo Alvarez (0-2) suffered the loss.
BEE LINES: Buzz lefty Travis Baptist leads the Pacific Coast League with a 1.09 ERA . . . Marc Lewis has hit safely in five-straight games, and Brian Buchanan has hit safely in four-straight.