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Salt Lake Bees: Team masters Rainiers

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By the time the fire alarm sounded with one out in the bottom of the first inning Tuesday night at Franklin Covey Field, it was well too late to save the Tacoma Rainiers.

The Salt Lake Bees scored four runs in the first, and the offensive fire was raging as they went on to post a 7-4 victory over the Rainiers.

With one out and Chone Figgins on first, Matt Brown, Dee Brown and Freddy Sandoval produced back-to-back-to-back singles — with the latter two scoring runs.

During that span, the false fire alarm sounded, but it didn't seem to bother Gary Patchett, who followed with a two-run double in the outburst.

Although starter Shane Loux allowed two runs in the second inning, he was solid in his final six innings in picking up his eighth win of the season to become the league's second eight-game winner this year.

In the next four innings Loux faced just two batters over the minimum and allowed just one hit.

"Early in the game I didn't feel that great. I didn't have very much command of anything," Loux said. "For some reason that's the way it's gone this year. It takes me two or three innings to get going and then I usually do all right. It went real well in the middle innings. I was locating my fastball and throwing my curve ball for strikes."

In the meantime, the Bees gave the crafty right-hander more run support. Tim Duff singled home Coby Smith, who tripled, in the fourth, and Matt Brown belted a two-run homer in the fifth to lift the Bees to a 7-2 lead.

The Rainiers (31-33) collected two hits and a run off Loux in the seventh and then plated an unearned run in the eighth before he left with two outs in the inning.

Loux, in his second-longest outing of the year at 7 2/3 innings, allowed six hits, struck out six and walked one, while lowering his ERA to 4.26.

In his first appearance since being called up from AA Arkansas, right-hander Kevin Jepsen allowed three hits in 1 1/3 innings in earning his first AAA save. He had three for the Travelers.

With the victory, the Bees (42-21) maintain a double-digit lead over Portland for first place in the Pacific Coast League Pacific Northern Division.

NOTES: The four-game series continues today at 7 p.m. at Franklin Covey Field ... Attendance was announced at 3,771 ... Matt Brown leads the team with 15 homers ... The Rainiers outhit the Bees, 9-7 ... Brown's two hits led Salt Lake.