The Salt Lake Bees aren't sorry to see the Beavers go.
Portland spotted Salt Lake three runs in the first inning on Monday night then rallied to defeat Salt Lake 6-3 at Franklin Covey Field and take 3-of-4 in the homestand.
The Beavers rocked Salt Lake starter Kasey Olenberger for five runs in the fourth and fifth innings to take the lead for good and send Salt Lake to its 16th loss of the year. Despite the win, Portland still trails Salt Lake by seven games in the PCL North division.
"We had trouble sustaining rallies tonight," said Bees manager Bobby Mitchell. "We started out great ... put men on base and in scoring position, but couldn't drive them in."
Salt Lake jumped on Portland starter Enrique Gonzalez for three runs on three hits and an error in its first at-bat, with Matt Brown scoring lead-off hitter Brad Coon on an RBI double, followed later in the inning by Dee Brown's two-run, broken-bat single to give the Bees the early lead.
Unfortunately, that was all the scoring Salt Lake could muster. Gonzalez went the next five innings, giving up only two more hits while striking out six Salt Lake batters through six complete innings of work.
Portland cut the lead to 3-2 in the fourth on a two-run double by Nick Hundley, then took the lead for good in the fifth on a three-run, bases-loaded triple by Chip Ambres to make the score 5-3 for the Beavers.
Salt Lake stranded two runners in the sixth, had runners at first and third and no outs in the seventh and left two more men aboard in the eighth. Overall, Salt Lake left nine men on base. Portland added a run in the eighth for the final score.
"We got a little anxious at times," Mitchell said. "The positive thing is we were in the game to the very end."
Coon, who went 4-for-5, was at a loss to explain his hitting success while his teammates were struggling.
"You're going to have your good days and bad days. My job is to get on base and I did that. ... Nobody's panicking ... we know we're a good team and we're going to be fine."
Salt Lake will try to right itself against the Colorado Sky Sox, who arrive today for the first of a a four-game set.BEES WAX: Monday's game lasted 2 hours and 38 minutes as opposed to Sunday's 11-inning, 3-hour, 47-minute affair. ... The Beavers are 3-0 in extra-inning games this season. ... While the Beavers needed 11 innings to dispatch the Bees on Sunday, Portland's parent club, San Diego, needed 18 to put away Cincinnati. ... Salt Lake's Bobby Wilson walked in the fifth inning to extend his on-base streak to 25 games. ... Attendance Monday was 3,697 fans, who braved the chilly night after a dreary, rainy afternoon.
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