SALT LAKE CITY — Something strange happened at Spring Mobile Ballpark on Tuesday night: when the first inning ended, the Bees had the lead.
Salt Lake had given up at least one run in the first inning in each of its past four games — all losses. And with Matt Palmer, who happens to sport a first-inning ERA northward of 10 runs this season, taking the ball, things didn't look especially promising.
Palmer did allow two base-runners in the top of the first, but he escaped without giving up a run. Then in the bottom half of the inning, Jeremy Moore hit a sac fly with the bases loaded before Efren Navarro belted a two-run double to the gap in left-center.
Just like that, Salt Lake had a 3-0 lead. The Bees tacked on a run in each of the next three innings before finishing off the Sky Sox by a score of 6-2.
The win snapped a six-game home losing streak.
"Getting those early runs made a huge difference," Salt Lake manager Keith Johnson said. "Any time you can get ahead of a team, it just helps your pitching."
The only thing that threatened to derail the Bees' momentum was a sudden downpour that sent the teams and the crowd of 7,347 scattering for cover. In a matter of minutes, though, the game resumed without further incident.
Navarro finished with three RBIs for Salt Lake, while both Alexi Amarista and Kevin Richardson went 2-for-4.
The Bees benefited from a stellar performance by Palmer, who threw six innings of one-run ball to pick up the win. He struck out three and only walked one while keeping the Sky Sox lineup off balance from his first pitch.
"Matt went out and did a great job getting six innings for us," Johnson said. "He did a good job of getting outs and getting ground balls for us tonight."
The Bees and Sky Sox will play again tonight at 6:35 p.m.