Franklin Quest became Franklin Covey Field Friday. By night's end, however, some things remained the same. Fortunately for the Buzz it didn't matter.
Despite blowing a save opportunity for the 13th time this season, Salt Lake's bats came to the rescue as the Buzz defeated Las Vegas 5-4 in 11 innings. A two-out RBI single by Marc Lewis allowed the Buzz to remain 111/2 games behind division-leading Fresno, which defeated Iowa earlier in the evening."How about that?," Salt Lake manager Phil Roof said after the Buzz prevailed for the third time in four outings. "It was supposed to end in nine innings."
Stars first baseman Dusty Allen didn't get the message. His two-run homer with two outs in the ninth pulled Las Vegas even. The blast also cost Buzz starting pitcher Frank Rodriguez a fourth consecutive victory.
"We didn't get a lot of hits but we hit enough," Roof said. "And Frankie did his usual job."
Rodriguez recorded eight strikeouts and allowed just five hits over seven innings. The only runs he surrendered came on an RBI single by Eddie Williams in the fourth and a run-scoring hit from Greg Larocca in the sixth.
Salt Lake took a 2-0 lead in the first inning when Chris Latham scored on an error and Jon Shave crossed the plate on a fielder's choice. The runs gave Rodriguez a cushion he needed.
And it didn't hurt that Salt Lake's bats came through as well.
After the Stars closed the gap to 2-1, Buzz outfielder Marc Lewis came to the rescue with a run-scoring double in the bottom of the fourth. A similiar scenario played out two innings later when Salt Lake countered a Las Vegas score with an RBI single from Esteban Beltre.
The 4-2 advantage held up until Allen knocked the ball into the centerfield screen.
Salt Lake had a chance to win the game in the 10th inning, but Latham tripped on wet grass while rounding third on a hit by Shave. He wound up being stranded.
The game-winning hit, which drove in Brian Buchanan from third base, was inspired by a recent long outing in Tucson.
"That was going through my head," Lewis said. "I didn't want to play 17 (innings) tonight."
The series continues tonight at 7 with Buzz RHP Shane Bowers (3-5, 6.55 ERA) and Stars LHP Heath Murray (6-6, 4.66) starting.
BEE LINES: The attendance was 8,811 . . . Shave returned to Salt Lake after a 20-day stint with the parent Minnesota Twins . . . Buzz first baseman Scott Stahoviak did not play because of a lower back strain. He is listed as day-to-day . . . Infielder Jeff Ferguson was placed on the disabled list with a sprained left ankle. . . . Jim Rantz, director of minor leagues for the Twins, was in attendance . . . Because of an injury and a big league call-up, local umpires Kent Redding and Randy Upton helped work the game.