When Salt Lake suffered only its second series sweep at the hands of Sacramento on Friday night, it left the Bees with little room for error. Opening a four-game series against Colorado Springs would make the team's division lead more precarious.
Salt Lake can breathe a little easier after using a late-inning offensive surge to overwhelm the Sky Sox 13-9 on Saturday night at Franklin Covey Field.
Brad Coon and Freddy Sandoval fueled the Bees' scoring onslaught with three runs apiece. Sandoval drove in a trio of runs as well.
"Hitting is a contagious thing," Sandoval said. "When you see everyone putting up good at-bats, you don't want to fall behind."
Based on how things started, it appeared Colorado Springs would be the one to use hot bats to its advantage.
The Sky Sox seized a quick 2-0 lead in the first when Joe Koshansky slammed a two-run homer over the right-field fence.
Salt Lake worked hard to erase that advantage. The Bees tied it 2-2 after Bobby Wilson doubled into the left field corner to drive in Sandoval, and Brandon Wood followed suit with another double this time to center to bring Wilson home. Salt Lake finally went up 3-2 when Dee Brown's line-drive single brought Wood home.
It made little difference when starting pitcher Giancarlo Alvarado opened the second inning in disastrous fashion. Alvarado gave up a pair of hits and walked Mike McCoy before Doug Bernier blasted a grand slam home run to left field to make it 6-3 for Colorado Springs.
Bees manager Bobby Mitchell yanked Alvarado in favor of Matt Wilhite, who performed well in relief, giving up only one run and striking out three batters in 3 1/3 innings.
"We kind of let our lead in the division slip away," Wilhite said. "This gets us off the ropes and gets us back to a good start."
With Wilhite providing stability on the mound, Salt Lake's offense made up ground quickly. The Bees produced a pair of runs on a single from Sandoval and a throwing error by Franklin Morales to make it 6-5.
Sandoval then tied things up in the sixth when he hammered the ball deep into the left-field corner for a two-run double. Wilson put Salt Lake on top at 8-7 when he singled in Sandoval.
The Bees steadily increased their lead from that point forward. Wood hammered the final nail in the coffin in the seventh. His line-drive single to center field drove in both Coon and Wilson to make it 13-8.
Mitchell was pleased with the aggression Salt Lake showed in all facets of the game against Colorado Springs and hopes it becomes a team trademark during this latest homestand.
"If we stay aggressive, we'll be okay," Mitchell said. "If we get a little tentative here and there, we struggle it seems like. We're going to try to stay aggressive for the next (few) games."BEES NOTES: For the first time ever, Salt Lake has four players who have smacked 20 or more home runs during the same season. Wood leads the Bees with 28 homers. Adam Pavkovich, Sean Rodriguez and Matt Brown each have 21. ... Saturday's attendance was 9,497. ... Coon extended his hitting streak to eight games, matching his season high.
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