One loss Buzz manager Phil Roof could live with. He'd struggle to get to sleep, but his doctor wouldn't be issuing any blood pressure pills in the morning.
Two losses, though, would have sent Roof over the edge and into a tailspin, where medication to calm the nerves might just have been in order. You see, the Buzz were playing the PCL's worst team, Vancouver, in doubleheader on Sunday and Roof fully expected, and desperately hoped for, a sweep.He didn't get one, as the Buzz dropped the first 6-5, but the night wasn't all wasted. Salt Lake avoided the dreaded double-dip slip by rallying in the capper for a 5-4 win, saving Roof's nerves for now.
"At least we got one or I'd really be upset," said a relieved Roof. "We darn near lost two tonight."
If it hadn't been for Corey Koskie's two run scoring single in the sixth, putting the Buzz up 5-3, Salt Lake just may have found itself on the tail end twice Sunday. But with one out and runners on second and third, Koskie bounced a high grounder over the drawn in Vancouver infield and into left field.
Had the fielders been playing at normal depth, it would have been an easy play for Canadian shortstop Fausto Cruz. But with Cruz positioning himself in a few steps, anticipating a play at the plate, it allowed the ball to bounce just high enough to clear his stretched glove.
"Corey came through in a big way," said Roof. "He hit the ball hard and fortunately it bounced high enough to score the runners. We needed somebody to come up with a big play and it was his turn I guess."
Koskie's two RBI bouncer capped a three run sixth for the Buzz. Chris Latham scored the first run of the inning when he stole home on a passed ball. But it wasn't over just yet.
The Canadians threatened to tie or even push ahead in the seventh when Buzz pitcher Gus Gandarillas gave up an RBI single to Steve Scarsone, leaving runners on first and third with one out and Vancouver trailing by one.
That's when the Buzz relievers finally did what they're paid to do - save games. Travis Miller came in and struck out the next two batters, preserving the win for Salt Lake.
"Our bullpen did us a job tonight, which hasn't been the case lately," said Roof. "Hopefully that's a sign things are going to start changing. Normally we have trouble closing games out when we bo to the bullpen, but Travis did a good job tonight."
In the first game, Vancouver jumped out to a 5-0 lead after the top half of the sixth before the Buzz bats finally jumpstarted. Koskie brought the lead down to 5-2 with an mammoth homerun in the sixth, scoring Mike Moriarty who led the inning off with a double.
After Vancouver added a run in the seventh, Salt Lake crept within one at 6-5 on Chris Latham's three run shot, but the rally would fizzle out like a waterlogged firecracker when Esteban Beltre flew out to end the game.
"We made a good run at them, but we waited too long to decide we wanted to hit," said Roof.
Former Salt Lake pitcher Rich Robertson started the first game for Vancouver, only allowing four runs on seven hits in 6 2/3 innings.
BEE LINES: Salt Lake is now 38-41 with one game to play until the All-Star break . . . Beltre broke out of a 0-12 hitting slump with a single in the first inning of the opening game . . . Scott Stahoviak is expected to report back to Salt Lake by Friday . . . The paid attendance was 7,266.