The Salt Lake Bees entered Tuesday night's game against the Colorado Spring Sky Sox in a slump, having lost six of their previous seven games. But as bad as things had been for the Bees of late on the field, it wasn't close to the problems they saw others had earlier in the day. The Bees were given a much-needed dose of reality.
The entire Bees team visited young patients at Primary Children's Hospital earlier in the day. Seeing seriously ill children and their hopeful, sometimes cheerful attitudes helped the players and coaches put their struggles in perspective.
"The thing that really helped us today, as a team, was going down to the Primary Children's Hospital,' said Bobby Wilson, who hit the game-winning home run during the Bees' 5-4 10-inning win on Tuesday night at Franklin Covey Field. "Just realizing that we are playing a game this is supposed to be fun and you've got kids battling for their lives. They are smiling and they put smiles on our faces. Personally, it gave me an outlook that, so what if I don't get a hit. There are a lot of worse things.' Third baseman Adam Pavkovich, who hit an RBI double and solo home run, agreed.
"(Going to the hospital) was definitely something our team needed,' Pavkovich said. "It gave our team a chance to put things in perspective. There are a lot more important things in life than baseball. Maybe that trip was good timing for us and something everybody needed.' Salt Lake improved to 74-66 with the win to remain five games ahead of Tacoma in the PCL Pacific North Division race with 14 games remaining.
Bees pitcher Dustin Moseley struggled early, giving up a pair of first-inning runs, before settling down to give his team a much-needed quality start, going 6-2/3 innings.
The Bees had just one hit on Monday night and their batting woes continued into the middle of the game Tuesday. Their scoreless streak was up to 15 innings dating back to Sunday before a walk to Terry Evans was followed by back-to-back RBI doubles by Freddy Sandoval and Pavkovich to knot the game 2-2.
With the game tied 4-4, Salt Lake had runners in scoring position in both the eighth and ninth innings but was unable to score. They finally were able to end the game with the 1-0 blast by Wilson to lead off the bottom of the 10th.
"That was a good win on a crazy game,' Bees manager Bobby Mitchell said. "We finally scored those two runs that got us some momentum going.' Salt Lake starts its final homestand of the season tonight against the Tucson Sidewinders. The team will have post-game fireworks on both Friday and Saturday nights. The Bees will start Anthony Ortega (2-0, 2.37 ERA) against Tucson's Billy Buckner (5-9, 4.89) tonight.
BEELINES: The Bees need to draw 22,729 or more fans in their final five games to surpass the largest season attendance figure since beginning their affiliation with the Angels in 2001. That will take an average of 4,546 fans per game to surpass the 474,647 total from 2003. Tuesday night's attendance was 6,202 ... Salt Lake was not very good on television this season. They went 2-8 in their 10 games broadcast on KJZZ, including Monday night's 9-0 loss ... Sandoval's double in the fifth inning was his league-leading 41st of the season. He needs two more doubles to tie the franchise record of 43 by Riccardo Ingram in 1995.