Two strikes were all that stood between the Salt Lake Bees and an 8-6 victory Sunday, but an hour later the Portland Beavers closed out the four-hour affair, 9-8.
Salt Lake reliever Darren O'Day had Portland third baseman Tom King down to a 1-1 count in the ninth inning before giving up a two-run, game-extending home run that tied it, 8-8. Shawn Wooten finished the Bees off in the 11th with a 360-foot blast over the left-field fence.
"We just had poor pitching today," said Bees manager Bobby Mitchell. "It's a little bit of a letdown."
Portland had its own pitching woes, though not to the extent the Bees experienced. Portland allowed 13 hits on the game, four by Bees shortstop Gary Patchett, compared to 18 hits allowed by the hurlers in the home black.
Portland left fielder Chase Headley pounded Salt Lake all game, going 4-for-5 on the day, including a home run of his own in the eighth. Headley scored twice in the game and also reached base on a walk. He recorded only one RBI, though, due in large part to following right fielder Peter Ciofrone, who was 0-for-5 with four strikeouts, in the batting order.
The Bees took the lead in the first inning on Matt Brown's two-out solo home run to right field. The shot was Brown's 10th homer of the season and second in as many nights.
Portland bounced back, scoring three runs in the top of the fifth inning. Headley doubled with two outs to start the rally, and Brian Myrow's two-run home run made the score 3-2 Portland. Chip Ambres and Shawn Wooten hit back-to-back doubles to make it four consecutive extra-base hits for the Beavers. Wooten's hit knocked Ambres home and pitcher Shane Loux out of the game.
Salt Lake answered back, scoring three runs in both the seventh and eighth innings. Five of those six runs came with two outs and the other was a home run by Bees right fielder Adam Pavkovich in the seventh.
Right hander Edwin Moreno picked up the win for the Beavers. He pitched the last 2 1/3 innings for Portland, allowed two hits and a walk and struck out two Bees sluggers, with both punchouts coming in the last inning.
Jeff Kennard earned the loss for Salt Lake by giving up the Wooten homer in the 11th. Kennard pitched one inning, walked one batter and struck out one."We battled 'til the end," Mitchell said.
• Top performance: Gary Patchett went 4-for-4 with three singles, one double, one stolen base and was also hit by a pitch.
• Record: 33-15
• Up next: vs. Portland, today, 6:30 p.m.
• Current series: Portland leads, 2-1• Next homestand: vs. Colorado Springs, Tue.-Fri.