OGDEN — A loss is never easy to take, but it's a lot harder to swallow when you don't play your best game.

After Tuesday's 9-7 loss to Billings, the Ogden Raptors may spend a lot of time asking themselves a lot of what ifs.

What if they could have managed one or two more well-place hits instead of leaving 10 runners on base?

What if Carlos Medero didn't get thrown out at the plate to halt a rally in the two-run sixth?

What if they didn't commit season-high four errors for the fourth time this year?

"The fact of the matter is we have to play almost a perfect game to beat these guys. They (the Mustangs) are better than we are. I'll admit that," Ogden manager Lance Parrish said.

"We don't execute when we're supposed to. We strikeout and don't run to first (on the dropped ball). We can't afford to make mistakes and we made far too many."

They can't afford the miscues in more than one way.

First, like Parrish said, the Raptors need to play flawlessly to beat the Mustangs (21-9), the Pioneer League North Division leader, and secondly, each loss hurts them in their quest to make the playoffs.

With the loss, the Raptors fall two games behind division-leading Orem with nine games remaining, and trail Idaho Falls by two games for the wildcard. They either need to win the division or finish five games better than Idaho Falls to earn a postseason berth.

The Raptors outhit the Mustangs 14-10, but committed three errors in the third, allowing one run to score, and a close play at third in the fifth would have gotten the Raptors out of the inning before Danny Dorn belted a grand slam.

"That's the way the game goes sometimes," Parrish said. "You look at the opportunities we missed out on. We would have had a pretty good chance of beating these guys if we played a clean game."

With the scored tied at 2-2, Ogden starter Jesus Castillo had allowed just one hit before working himself into a jam in the fifth with a walk and three hits before Dorn belted the granny for his third homer in two games.

OWLS 7, WHITE SOX 1: At Orem, all it took was one hit from Orem's Ryan Mount to turn a pitcher's duel against Great Falls into an easy Owlz victory.

Mount hit a grand slam in the home half of the seventh inning to lead the Owlz (17-12) to a 7-1 victory over Great Falls (8-22).


E-MAIL: jhinton@desnews.com