Trappers 4, Buzz 3
The Buzz failed to produce enough offensive fireworks to overcome Edmonton 4-3 Tuesday night, after which real fireworks lit up the sky in front of 16,109 fans at Franklin Covey Field.
Granted, Salt Lake's offensive prowess was nothing to gawk at. Nowadays it's almost expected that the Buzz shine in the offensive column, considering they've posted league-leading numbers all season.
After all, they boast three hitters in the Pacific Coast League's top 10 hitters category. Team production at the plate is best in the league (OK, so they hit at a high-altitude ballpark), not to mention they possess the best record in all divisions (53-33).
But this time, pitching was the story line as both starting pitchers went seven innings or better, giving up no more than five hits.
Trapper starter Matt Wise (7-4) went seven, while holding Salt Lake to three runs on five hits. Buzz starter Matt Kinney wasn't too far behind, as he did Wise one better with three runs on four hits.
The difference, however, was, first, Salt Lake's inability to produce its trademark eight-plus runs and, second, one inning where reliever Jack Cressend was just a little off.
"(Cressend) left a couple pitches up, and it turned out to be the game-winning hit," said Buzz manager Phil Roof.
Salt Lake scored first on a John Barnes lead-off double down the leftfield line. A.J Pierzynski followed in the next at bat with a rope down the right field line that scored Barnes for a 1-0 Buzz lead.
Edmonton tied things up in the sixth when Kinney hit second baseman Keith Johnson with two outs. The Trappers made Kinney pay for that when Larry Barnes lined a double to deep right center for the RBI.
Brian Buchanan, who was 2 for 16 at the plate in his previous five games, belted his 14th homer of the year to bring in two runs and put the Buzz up 3-1.
But that was all the offense Salt Lake could muster against Edmonton's ace.
"We faced a tough pitcher (Wise) tonight," said Roof. "He had a good change-up and a sink on his fastball. He handled our hitters pretty well."
Edmonton's E.J. Hoen posted a leadoff homer off Kinney in the eighth to put the Trappers within one. Cressend followed Kinney in relief but yielded a triple and a controversial home run-turned-double.
Trapper Shawn Wooten's homer allegedly hit the top of a chain-link fence that sits atop the outfield advertisements. The initial ruling was home run, but Buzz left fielder Chad Allen argued the call, which was later changed to a double.
The Buzz had a chance to score in the ninth after Mario Valdez delivered a single to start the inning. Torii Hunter attempted to lay down a sacrifice bunt to advance pinch-runner Jeff Ferguson, but Edmonton killed the rally, recording a double play after Hunter's bunt went high and popped into the pitcher's glove.
"We messed up an opportunity in the ninth," said Roof. "We just never got much going."
And when it was all over, Edmonton owned the one-run lead, 4-3, and the game.
The Buzz continue their series with Edmonton Wednesday night at 7.