SALT LAKE CITY — The Colorado Springs Sky Sox shellacked the Salt Lake Bees 22-8 on Wednesday, but on Thursday, things went a little differently.
Led by pitcher Eric Hurley, the Bees (27-28) cruised past the Sky Sox (26-28) to win 7-1 at Spring Mobile Ballpark.
Hurley (5-4) pitched seven innings, had eight strikeouts and allowed just three hits and no runs, it what was one of his best performances with the Bees.
"It's up there," Hurley said. "The work between starts was good, and I was able to get a good fastball going early, so that helped a lot."
Another big help for Hurley and the rest of the Bees was the return of catcher Hank Conger, who had been out since April 23rd with a sprained right elbow.
"[Conger] was doing a great job offensively and behind the plate," Bees manager Keith Johnson said. "There's a familiarity factor with him, plus having him back allowed us to have a deeper lineup."
The Bees jumped on the board quickly, scoring two runs in the second inning, thanks to a pair of back-to-back doubles from Paul McAnulty and Luis Jimenez.
Salt Lake didn't score again until the sixth inning, when a Conger single brought Andrew Romine home. Romine stole second base to put himself in scoring position.
The seventh inning was especially troubling for Colorado Springs. Efren Navarro and Doug Deeds each had a home run and a Sky Sox error led to another run for Romine, stretching the lead to 7-0.
Colorado Springs did eventually get a run in the top of the ninth, but it was too-little, too-late for the Sky Sox.
Navarro led the Bees with three hits, two RBIs and a run, and Romine added three hits and two runs.
While Johnson is happy to get back to winning, he's not about to let the momentum of this game go to his team's head.
"All our best guys could be gone tomorrow," he said. "The health of our team depends on the health of our Major League team.
"As they get healthier, they'll be sending guys back here and the talent will trickle down. Our lineup will get better and our defense will get better. But right now the guys we do have are working their butts off."
Salt Lake finishes its series with Colorado Springs tonight before heading on the road for the next eight games against Fresno and Tacoma.
email: [email protected]