The paid attendance at John Ducey Park was 3,097 when the Salt Lake Buzz faced the Edmonton Trappers Monday night. The actual count through the turnstiles was 1,353. About three dozen diehards remained on the rainy night by the time it came to a merciful end some 3-plus hours later.
While the game may have been distasteful to the wet home crowd, the 13-8 Salt Lake victory was sweet for the Buzz. With 14 games remaining in the first half of the season, the Buzz are 28-30 and in the thick of the five-team PCL Northern Division pennant race. Edmonton fell to 27-30.Once again, the Buzz bats were impressive. The pitching was strong at the beginning and the end, but still shaky in the middle.
"We're going to hit and score runs," Buzz manager Scott Ullger said. "We can hurt teams 1 through 9 in our lineup. If we get some pitching, we'll win games."
The Buzz's No. 8 and 9 hitters Tuesday, leftfielder Marty Cordova and shortstop Denny Hocking, led the 14-hit barrage. Cordova had three hits - including a double and a homer - and three RBI, while Hocking drove in three, with two of those runs coming on his third home run of the year. In all, seven of the nine Buzz hitters drove in at least one run and eight had at least one hit.
Meanwhile, Shawn Bryant, the Buzz starter, pitched well through five innings, giving up just two runs on three hits with five strikeouts, as the Buzz jumped out to a 10-2 lead. Bryant gave up a two-run double in the sixth, but still left with the Buzz leading 10-4.
"Shawn pitched well," Ullger said of his hurler who picked up his first win since May 17 and just his third of the year. "He gave up a couple of walks that hurt him, but overall it was a good outing for him."
The Buzz bullpen has taken its lumps in recent weeks and did so again when Mo Sanford gave up four runs in one-and-a third innings, but Kevin Campbell came through in the clutch to earn a save. Cambell inherited two baserunners with one out in the bottom of the eighth. He got out of it with two straight ground outs and the Buzz led 10-8. After the Buzz scored three insurance runs in the ninth, Campbell finished the game to earn the save, his fourth.
"I just came at them and threw strikes, especially after we got the runs in the top of the ninth" Campbell said. "My job is just to make them put the ball into play."
Tonight RHP Greg Brummett (1-2, 6.12 ERA) will pitch against Edmonton's Steve Long (2-7, 6.28).
BUZZ BRIEFS - Bernardo Brito hit a triple and a homer and drove in two more runs Tuesday. Brito now has a league-leading 56 RBI for the year and 13 round-trippers. Brito has a nine-game hitting streak going as well, his longest of the year . . . Cordova has hit safely in 19 of the past 21 games. His two hitless outings were when he was used as a pinch hitter.