LAS VEGAS — The Salt Lake Bees could not complete a series sweep of Las Vegas on Friday night. The 51s broke through with a two-run sixth inning to take a 3-2 decision over Salt Lake and stave off elimination in the best-of-five playoff series.
Salt Lake still leads the series 2-1. The two teams will face off at Cashman Field in Las Vegas again for Game 4 of the series Saturday at 1 p.m. MDT.
Roberto Lopez got the scoring going for Salt Lake in the top of the third inning with a line-drive single that scored Matt Long. Las Vegas responded with a run in the bottom of the fifth on a sacrifice fly from Eric Campbell. The 51s then got to Bees relief pitcher Kevin Johnson for two runs in the bottom of the sixth to provide the winning margin.
Johnson was tagged with the loss for the Bees, while Hamilton Bennett picked up the win after coming on in relief for the 51s.
The Bees threatened to come back, but could never get the timely hit they needed. Efren Navarro led off with a triple in the top of the eighth and later scored to narrow the margin to 3-2. In the top of the ninth the Bees got the tying run to second base, but reliever Cory Wade struck out Lopez. Overall, the Bees left 12 men on base, tying a franchise record that was set Thursday night.
On the other side of the bracket, Omaha completed a three-game sweep of Oklahoma City to win the PCL’s American Conference. The Storm Chasers will host the first two games of the PCL Championship series on Tuesday. After a travel day the winner of the Salt Lake-Las Vegas series will host Game 3 on Friday and Games 4 and 5, if necessary, on Saturday, Sept. 13, and Sunday, Sept. 14.
Kraig Williams is a 2010 Utah State University graduate and regular Deseret News sports blogger. He can be followed on Twitter @DesNewsKraig.