SALT LAKE CITY — Following Sunday's 9-6 loss to Sacramento, Bees manager Keith Johnson said his players needed to avoid giving up the big inning. They took that message to heart Monday night.
The Bees were able to escape a bases-loaded, nobody-out jam in the eighth by only surrendering one run and held on for a 5-4 win over Fresno in front of a crowd of 2,816 at Smith's Ballpark.
Trailing 5-3 entering the eighth, the Grizzlies loaded the bases on back-to-back walks and a Salt Lake fielding error. A sacrifice fly from Darren Ford cut the Bees' lead to one, but Fresno's Gary Brown grounded into a 5-4-3 double play that ended the inning and preserved victory for Salt Lake.
"It was just a great job (getting us out of the inning)," Johnson said. "(Cory Rasmus) pitched himself in and out of trouble, but when he had to make a pitch he did a great job of minimizing the damage."
A mechanical issue on Fresno's plane caused the Grizzlies to be stuck in Las Vegas for most of the day Monday, forcing the game to be delayed for over an hour.
Once the game began, the Fresno offense was anything but grounded.
The Grizzlies struck first with a pair of solo homers. Andrew Susac went yard in the second inning to open up the scoring, and teammate Tony Abreu sent one out of the park in the third as Fresno jumped out to an early 3-0 lead.
The Bees got one back in the bottom of the inning when Matt Long scored on a wild pitch from Grizzly starter Chris Heston.
Salt Lake took the lead for good in the fourth.
C.J. Cron hit an RBI double that was followed by a two-run bomb by Brennan Boesch as the Bees plated four runs in the inning to take a 5-3 lead. With his double, Cron has hit in every game this season — a streak of five games.
After the lengthy delay, Johnson was pleased with the way his team played.
"Sitting around all day and waiting and waiting, it was tough," Johnson said. "It was a tough mental day, but I thought our guys did a great job on finishing the game out."
With the victory, the Bees move to 3-2 on the season.