SALT LAKE CITY — At the end of a mostly well-played game, an error in the top of the ninth inning doomed the Salt Lake Bees.
As a result, the home team suffered a 6-3 loss to the Las Vegas 51s in the final game of its homestand at Spring Mobile Ballpark Tuesday evening. It was the Bees’ fourth loss of the five-game series.
Salt Lake gave up two runs over the first three innings before creeping back. The Bees (74-57) even took a 3-2 lead behind single runs in the second, fifth and eighth innings.
In the ninth inning, the Bees gave up two walks and two singles, which tied the score and left the bases loaded with two outs.
Las Vegas center fielder Matt den Dekker singled to center field and Bees outfielder Scott Cousins sent his throw home wide of the plate. All three base runners — Ruben Tejada, Lucas Duda and Eric Campbell — scored; den Dekker ended up on second base; and the 51s took a 6-3 lead.
Both teams recorded 13 hits in the game, and the Bees started out hot at the plate. The home team had three consecutive hits in the second inning and Drew Heid drew a walk, which led to an Andy Marte run. Matt Long singled in the fifth and later reached home on a Luis Jimenez sacrifice fly to left field. And then Marte scored on a Luis Rodriguez sacrifice fly in the eighth inning.
Marte finished 2 for 4 with two runs; Heid was 2 for 3 with an RBI; Tommy Field was 2 for 4; and Roberto Lopez was 3 for 4.
Las Vegas closer Justin Hampson was credited the win after giving up one hit and one walk in just 1 1/3 innings.
Bees starter Matt Shoemaker pitched a solid game, striking out nine batters in seven innings and retiring 10 straight batters across his final four innings. Shoemaker currently leads all of minor league baseball with 164 1/3 innings pitched. He led the league in the same stat at the end of last season with 176 2/3 innings.
The Bees now head to Reno for five games and then on to Tacoma for four. The Rainiers are currently second in the Pacific Northern conference, just four games behind the Bees.
Sarah Thomas earned a degree in Mathematics from the University of Utah and is currently pursuing an MBA at Westminster College. She has been covering sports for the Deseret News since 2008.