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CANNONS SEND BUZZ HOME, 11-10

SHARE CANNONS SEND BUZZ HOME, 11-10

The Salt Lake Buzz had just finished the best road swing in the young franchise's history, but they weren't about to stick around and savor the accomplishment any longer than necessary. Especially since the final game of the trip was a disappointing 11-10 loss to the Calgary Cannons Sunday afternoon.

"I'm just glad we're getting out of Canada and going home," said Buzz pitching coach Gorman Heimuller, voicing the mood of most of the team as they hurried to make a late Sunday afternoon flight to Salt Lake City.After spending eight days in Alberta - four in Edmonton, four in Calgary - the Buzz were ready to get back to the states where they don't have to use funky Monopoly-like money to buy things, where they know what the temperature is outside (they kept saying it was 20-degrees Sunday, but is sure felt more like 70), where people care more about the NBA championship than that Stanley Cup garbage, where the ball park clubhouses allow enough room for a player to turn around without bumping into several teammates and where every sentence isn't finished with the word "eh."

And this was a good trip to Canada. The team won six games sandwiched between a pair of losses.

"If anyone would have said before the trip we would finish 6-2, we'd have taken it in a heartbeat," Heimuller said. "It was a great trip, but it's time to get out of here."

While Sunday's loss was a setback in the Buzz's bid to win the first-half pennant, they still can take matters into their own hands. Salt Lake is now 33-31 and in second place in the PCL Northern Division with eight games remaining - all at home. The Buzz trail the Vancouver Canadians (35-28) by 21/2 games with the two teams beginning a four-game series tonight at Franklin Quest Field. A Buzz sweep and they will hold a 11/2-game advantage by Thursday night. Anything less and the Canadians will still lead and Salt Lake will need help from Calgary, which hosts Vancouver in the final four games of the first half.

The Buzz looked to be cruising to their seventh consecutive win Sunday, leading 5-1 in the seventh, when the Cannons started bombing Salt Lake pitching.

Buzz starter Mike Trobley, who had been near brilliant through six innings, gave up a leadoff walk in the seventh followed by three straight hits which scored two runs. Mo Sanford came on in relief only to surrender a three-run homer to Jerry Willard followed immediately by a solo shot from Marc Newfield. When the dust settled, the Cannons led 7-5.

The Buzz took the lead back with a two-out eighth-inning rally. Five straight Buzzmen got base hits, including a run-scoring single by J.T. Bruett and a two-run single from Tim McIntosh.

In the bottom of the eighth the Cannons responded with a two-out, three-run homer to right by Scott Bryant off Salt Lake's Scott Watkins, giving Calgary a 10-8 lead.

The Buzz, who had 19 hits on the day, knotted the score in the ninth on a two-run Marty Cordova home run, but the Cannons avoided extra innings when Chris Howard hit a one-out single to score Newfield from third with the winning run off Watkins.

"It was one of those games where it seemed like the team that batted last would win," Calgary manager Steve Smith said. "These are two teams that can flat out hit and this is a hitters' park. Salt Lake's lineup is amazing. There are no weaknesses."

The Buzz, who are leading the PCL with a .311 team batting average, continued their hitting and scoring barrage. Salt Lake pounded 67 hits (16.75 average) and 47 runs (11.75 average) in the four-game series with the Cannons.