The Tacoma Rainiers rocked Salt Lake starter Nick Adenhart for six runs in the first inning and cruised to a 7-4 win Thursday night at Franklin Covey Field.
Adenhart threw 40 pitches in the inning as Tacoma batted around, he gave up two walks and five hits, including a grand slam to Charlton Jimerson to put the Bees in a 6-0 hole.
Salt Lake added a run in its half of the inning to make it 6-1 and Tacoma added another in the top of the third on Jimerson's second home run of the night to make in 7-1.
Salt Lake cut the lead to 7-2 in the bottom half of the inning, and Adam Morrissey added solo home runs in the fourth and sixth innings to cut it to 7-4, but the Bees could get no closer.
"We tried to chip away all night, but came up short," manager Bobby Mitchell said. "That first inning really hurt us. (Adenhart) just had a poor outing. When you leave pitches up in the strike zone, you're going to get rocked."
The Bees had runners at the corners with no outs in the bottom of the seventh, but Tacoma reliever Cesar Jimenez struck out both Dee Brown and Morrissey. After a walk to Gary Patchett loaded the bases, Adam Pavkovich battled back from an 0-2 count but struck out swinging to end the Bees' threat.
"You have to give Jimenez credit," Morrissey said. "He came in and pitched out of some jams. We were trying to be aggressive and cut into the lead, but just couldn't do it." Jimenez finished with five strikeouts overall in just two innings of work for the Rainiers.
Salt Lake doesn't have much time to reflect on its loss. Las Vegas comes to town today for a four-game set."They're a better team than they were when we last saw them," Mitchell said.
NOTES: Attendance Thursday was 6,112 ... Even with the loss, Salt Lake still has the second-best record in all the minor leagues. Only the 45-21 Asheville Tourists the single A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies have a better record than the Bees.
Rainiers 7, Bees 4
• Top performance: Adam Morrissey hit two home runs in the loss for Salt Lake
• Record: 43-22
• Up next: vs. Las Vegas, today, 7 p.m.