The Salt Lake Bees and Sacramento River Cats have played their share of good, close games this season. The two division-leading clubs needed an extra inning, for example, to decide Friday night's winner.
But Saturday's game wasn't close at all. The River Cats scored 10 runs in a two-inning period to rip the Bees 12-2, ending Salt Lake's six-game winning streak.
"We didn't play well tonight," said Bees manager Bobby Mitchell. "Hopefully, it's a bump in the road and we can get back at it tomorrow. We made too many mistakes."
The Bees fell to 58-37 with the loss, but still lead the PCL Pacific North Division by 9 1/2 games. The River Cats, leaders of the Pacific South Division, improved to 56-40. Salt Lake and Sacramento, which met last season in a classic best-of-5 playoff series that went the distance, have now played each other 10 times this season with both teams winning five each.
"You hate to say you are due for that kind of game, but sometimes it just happens that way," said Mitchell.
The Bees trailed just 1-0 in the fourth inning. And when Brandon Wood hit a two-RBI double it gave Salt Lake a brief lead.
But the River Cats responded by plating four runs in the top of the fifth off Salt Lake starter Giancarlo Alvarado to take a 5-2 lead. Sacramento was aided by a two-run, two-out error on Bees right fielder Adam Pavkovich when he dropped a routine fly ball. Then Sacramento added five more runs in the sixth inning with home runs by second baseman Eric Patterson and outfielder Danny Putnam.
"They just hit and pitched better than us," said Bees first baseman Matt Brown. "A lot better."
Sacramento lefty Lenny DiNardo pitched six strong innings to earn his sixth win of the season.
The third game of the series will be today at 2 p.m. Salt Lake's Nick Adenhart (6-8, 5.74 ERA) is scheduled to start against Sacramento lefty Dan Meyer (8-5, 4.95 ERA).
The Bees will donate 50 cents from each ticket sold to today's game to aid Iowans affected by the recent floods. Minor league teams located in cities devastated by flooding include the Burlington Bees, Cedar Rapids Kernels, Iowa Cubs and Quad City River Bandits.
The series against Sacramento will conclude Monday night.
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