Giving up bases on balls is supposed to be deadly in baseball, but that wasn't the case on Monday night at Franklin Covey Field.
The Salt Lake Bees were the benefactors of nine walks issued by the Colorado Springs Sky Sox on Monday night. But they couldn't get any key hits or any hits at all during the first seven innings as the Sky Sox won easily 9-0.
"It was a frustrating effort, actually" said Bees manager Bobby Mitchell. "It looked like we were flat and didn't come out to play."
Oscar Villarreal, who has spent most of the past five years in the majors, started for the Sky Sox and didn't give up a hit in four-plus innings of work. He was relieved in the fifth by ex-Salt Lake Buzz pitcher Mark Redman, who threw three innings of no-hit ball to earn the victory.
Salt Lake didn't break up the no-hitter until new first baseman Corey Smith hit a solid single to left to lead off the eighth inning against Sky Sox reliever Matt Daley. By that time the Bees were already behind 8-0.
Salt Lake had numerous opportunities despite the lack of hits due to the Sky Sox pitchers' control problems. Salt Lake lead-off hitter, Brad Coon, for instance, walked all four times he came to the plate. He also stole second and third in the first inning, but was unable to score. Bees batters hit into four double plays on the night.
Catcher Humberto Cota had the hot bat for the Sky Sox. He blasted long home runs to left field in his first two plate appearances against Salt Lake starter Nick Green. Cota finished with three hits and five RBIs.
The only good news for the Bees on Monday night was that they didn't lose any ground in the PCL Pacific Northern Division standings. Both the second place Tacoma Rainiers and the third place Portland Beavers lost as well. Salt Lake, at 73-56, is still five games ahead of Tacoma with 15 games remaining.
The series finale against the Sky Sox will be tonight at 7 p.m. The Bees will start Dustin Moseley (6-6, 6.68 ERA) against Colorado Springs' Jason Hirsh (4-3, 5.23 ERA).
BEELINES: Sky Sox first baseman Joe Koshansky scored a run, but, for once, didn't drive one in on Monday. He has been a thorn in the side of the Bees all season, driving in 18 runs. That is three RBIs away from the franchise record for most in a season against Salt Lake. ... Bees infielder Freddy Sandoval leads the PCL with 156 hits this season. ... Attendance at Sunday's game was 8,134.