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Bees' rally falls short in 3-2 loss to Dodgers

Salt Lake Bees
Salt Lake Bees
Courtesy Salt Lake Bees

SALT LAKE CITY — Trailing by a run in the bottom of the ninth inning, Bees manager Keith Johnson and his club had only one thing in mind, win the game. When Dustin Ackley reached base on an infield single, Johnson had speedster Sherman Johnson pinch run for the first baseman, and in the same moment, had catcher Ramon Flores pinch hit for outfielder Bo Way.

The veteran manager’s gamesmanship proved unlucky on this occasion, as Johnson was picked off attempting to steal second and Flores struck out, leading to a 3-2 Salt Lake loss.

“We were a little light on pitching and just went for it,” said Keith Johnson. “We had a runner on first and the chance to get a runner in scoring position. It just didn’t work out.”

The Bees squandered an excellent outing from starting pitcher Osmer Morales. The righty pitched six strong innings of one-run baseball, a continuation of his strong pitching since joining the club.

“(Morales) has just gotten more and more comfortable with each start. He is starting to get a feel for everything, from travel to the level of competition,” said Johnson.

The Dodgers' victory was led by Edwin Rios, who went for 2 for 4 with a home run and two RBIs. His solo shot proved the difference, coming in the top of the eighth inning.

OLD FRIENDS: Three current Dodgers have history with the Bees, with outfielder Todd Cunningham, catcher Bobby Wilson and reliever Steve Geltz having sported the black and yellow in past seasons. Two saw the field Tuesday, as Wilson got the start behind home plate and Geltz came in to close out the game in the ninth. Wilson, the Angels' 48th round selection in the 2002 MLB draft, played parts of five season with Salt Lake from 2007-2010 and in 2012. Geltz appeared in 27 games with Salt Lake in 2011-12.

Salt Lake wasn’t too kind to Wilson in his return. He went hitless with a line-out and a strike-out. The former Bee did have a timely sacrifice, which tied the game at 2 runs apiece in the seventh inning.

GET OUTTA HERE: Outfielder Alex Verdugo, the Dodgers' second-highest-rated prospect and the 35th best prospect in all of baseball, had a difficult evening. The Arizonan lined out to Bees shortstop David Fletcher in his first at bat, and then struck out looking to end the top of the fourth. The strike-out didn’t set well with Verdugo, who threw his bat down in disgust at the called strike. That was all it took to get him tossed and end his night.

LIGHTS OUT: The Bees and Dodgers took a little break, 24 minutes in fact, in the top of the fifth inning. The lights at Smith’s Ballpark malfunctioned, an event that has happen a few times of late, making it unsafe for the teams to continue play. The lights also went out on July 24, as well as this past Saturday.

Bees starter Morales showed little sign of being affected by the unexpected delay. He quickly took care of business to finish the frame, getting both Wilson and Charlie Culberson to hit themselves out.