The Salt Lake Bees had a tough week playing against the El Paso Chihuahuas.
A home-game stretch will normally keep the home team alive in tight games. However, that did not happen this time. The Bees went 2-4 in their six-game series at home.
These games were won by the slimmest of margins. Four games were decided by one score, one game by two, and one game by three.
Game 1 – Chihuahuas 6-3
Ryan Smith, a left-handed starting pitcher for the Bees, made his fourth start this season. It would also be his fourth loss. He finished the game with a 7.71 ERA, allowing one home run and five total runs in the first four innings before a reliever came in.
Starting a game strong often leads to ending strong. That is exactly what El Paso did, they kept their lead. The Bees were just unable to recover from being down 5-1 following the third inning.
Game 2 – Bees 6-5
In-game two, Jake Walish was the starting pitcher for the Bees. His performance was commendable. He went five innings without having any opposing players batted in.
Salt Lake took advantage and scored six runs between innings three, four, and five.
Walish would allow two runs in the seventh inning and be replaced by Elvis Peguero. Peguero would close out the inning with a strikeout.
The remaining innings belonged to El Paso as they scored five runs. Thankfully, the Bees were able to close out the game only allowing a solo home run, followed by one strikeout and two flyouts.
Game 3 – Chihuahuas 4-3
This game was a nail-biter as Salt Lake would tie the game 3-3 in the bottom of the ninth with a solo home run. They would need to go to extra innings to decide it.
The next batter, Luis Campusano, for the Chihuahuas was placed on second base (as it now is part of the extra inning’s rules). The following batter, Shogo Akiyama hit a ground ball down the first-base line and received an RBI for batting in Campusano.
That would be the game-deciding run as the Bees would be unable to match it at the bottom of the tenth.
Game 4 – Chihuahuas 6-4
In-game four, the Salt Lake Bees would find themselves trying to win the game from behind. At the bottom of the ninth, the score was 6-3.
It was looking hopeful as Jack Mayfield made it to second base and batted Dillon Thomas home making it 6-4. No outs yet in the inning, one runner scored, and a runner on second. Unfortunately, the Bees would not be able to make a comeback. The next three batters would be caught out on a foul ball, struck out, and grounded out.
Game 5 – Chihuahuas 5-4
The next game against the Chihuahuas left the Bees frustrated with another close loss. It was also decided in the ninth inning.
The Chihuahuas were at bat at the top of the ninth. Close-out pitcher Gerardo Reyes would start the inning by striking out the first batter. Reyes would then allow a solo home run to center field on a 1-1 count to Luis Liberato. Reyes would continue to pitch striking out the following two batters.
In the bottom of the ninth, the bases were loaded with two outs. The Bees had the best opportunity ahead of them. It was a chance for a walk-off win. Designated hitter, Matt Thaiss would hit a short groundball for the catcher to throw him out at first losing that opportunity.
Game 6 – Bees 6-5
After 1.1 innings, the El Paso Chihuahuas made their first pitching change. Evan Miller gave the Bees their first run in the first inning. El Paso would end up making seven pitching changes to try to keep up with the Bees.
As it turned out, it was another game decided by one run.
El Paso would try to rally back down 6-1 at the top of the ninth. They would score four runs with a chance to tie the game. The Bees would come away with the win, even after committing two fielding errors.
The longer these two teams played each other the more competitive they became. The games got tight and were often determined either in the ninth or extra innings. It was a spectacle for any sports fan.
Lastly, Jo Adell deserves a mention because he did not play in games four through six.
His power and playmaking would be missed as he was brought back up to the Majors for the Los Angeles Angels on June 5th (the day of game six). Taylor Ward was placed on the Angels’ 10-day injured list on June 4th. Adell is receiving another chance to prove his worth in the big leagues. Hopefully, his one month with the Salt Lake Bees has been productive and rewarding to refining his skillset.
Featured image courtesy Paul Asay via Twitter @PaulDoesDesign