Facebook Twitter



The Salt Lake Buzz may not want to acknowledge it, but they're in the middle of a pennant race that appears headed to a photo finish.

Behind solid pitching performances and a slew of clutch hits - including a Bernardo Brito grand slam - the Buzz swept a doubleheader from the Edmonton Trappers Wednesday night at John Ducey Park. Salt Lake won the first game 3-1 and the nightcap 9-5 to improve to 30-30 on the year.With 12 games remaining in the first half of the PCL season the Buzz are tied for third in the Northern Division, two games behind 32-28 Vancouver. Salt Lake opens a four-game road series with the second-place Calgary Cannons (30-29) tonight before finishing the first-half schedule with eight games at Franklin Quest Field.

"We don't worry about the standings," Buzz manager Scott Ullger said. "Tonight we were able to sweep a doubleheader and, obviously, that's nice, but we have another game tomorrow."

The opener was an improbable pitchers' duel. It featured a pair of hurlers who entered the game with a combined 3-9 record. Despite the fact both Salt Lake's Greg Brummett and Edmonton's Steve Long had ERAs over 6, the game was scoreless through five innings. In the sixth the Buzz plated a pair of runs on singles by Bernardo Brito and Tim McIntosh. It was all the offense Salt Lake would need as Brummett allowed just one run and four hits before giving way to closer Kevin Campbell, who picked up his fifth save.

"It's been a struggle all year, so it was nice to get the win," said Brummett, who improved to 2-2 with the victory. "I'm still not real happy with how I pitched. I can pitch better, but hopefully this is a positive step for me. I need to keep working on some of my mechanics, but I think I'm coming around."

The Trappers made one major mistake in the nightcap, and Brito and the Buzz made them pay for it. Salt Lake trailed 2-1 entering the fifth. After a pair of Buzz singles, Dan Masteller hit a routine grounder to Trapper second baseman Al Pedrique that looked like a double-play ball. Instead, Pedrique booted it into shallow right field to load the bases.

Mike Durant followed with a two-run double to tie the game. An out later Rich Becker walked, Brian Raabe hit a sacrifice fly and Scott Stahoviak walked to read basesback up with two away. Brito pounded the first pitch over the left-field fence for a 7-2 Buzz lead.

"My job is to get people home, and I do the best I can," said Brito, who has done his job so well he is leading the PCL in RBI with 61. Brito has driven in at least one run in nine consecutive games. He has a team-high 14 homers.

"Bernie's amazing," Ullger said. "He just keeps doing it, but it wasn't just his grand slam that won the game for us tonight. It was a total team effort."

Salt Lake was outhit in the nightcap 14-7, but the Buzz made their hits count. After scoring seven runs on four hits in the fifth, Salt Lake added two runs on two hits in the sixth with the big blow being a two-run Raabe double.

Mike Trombley pitched four solid innings as the starter before giving way to Bill Wissler, who pitched two innings to earn the win, and Scott Watkins. Trombley would have gone longer, but Buzz pitching coach Gorman Heimuller said he didn't want to overwork Trombley since he is now scheduled to pitch in Sunday's series finale at Calgary. Trombley will flip-flop in the rotation with Brummett, who is now scheduled to pitch Monday at Franklin Quest.

LHP Eddie Guardado (6-5, 5.15 ERA), who has won his last three starts, will be on the hill tonight for the Buzz. RHP Alex Sanchez is scheduled to start for the Cannons.

BUZZ BRIEFS: Salt Lake has won five of its last six games . . . McIntosh and Raabe entered Wednesday's games as the third and fourth leading hitters in the PCL. McIntosh owned a .365 average while Raabe came it at .358.

In other Pacific Coast League play Wednesday:

Calgary 5, Tacoma 4.

At Tacoma, Wash., Anthony Manahan and Marc Newfield hit first-inning home runs to propel the Calgary Cannons to win over Tacoma Wednesday night.

Phoenix 4, Albuquerque 3

At Scottsdale, Ariz., a bases-loaded walk to Rikkert Faneyte in the sixth lifted Phoenix.

Colorado Springs 4, Las Vegas 3

At Las Vegas, Ty Van Burkleo hit his eighth home run and scored the winning run as Colorado Springs held off the Stars.