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Bees sting Isotopes in extra innings

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This time around it was Salt Lake's turn. The Bees prevailed 4-3 in 11 innings over the host Albuquerque Isotopes on Tuesday night.

It was the second straight extra-innings game and the second straight by a 4-3 final. Albuquerque (14-11) squeezed out the victory by that margin in 12 innings the night before.

"We had trouble getting the last four outs of the ballgame, which really shouldn't happen," manager Damon Berryhill said. "It's happened to us a few times this season we've given up some leads late. We definitely have to clean that up otherwise it's going to be a tough run for us."

This time around the bullpen failed to come through. Sam Demel (0-1) gave up a leadoff single to Roberto Lopez in the 11th.

Lopez stole second base, only to see Demel retire the next two batters. John Hester then sliced a single to right field, scoring Lopez and putting Salt Lake (10-16) ahead.

Mike Baxter hit a two-out single, part of a 5-for-5 night, but Griff Erickson popped up to end the game. The Isotopes left eight men on base for the game, though five of those were left in scoring position.

"Offensively, also, we've left some guys stranded at third that we need to do a better job driving those guys in," Berryhill said. "Make it a little easier on our pitchers."

The high points for the Isotopes came early. Spot starter Steve Smith, a former New Mexico Lobo, tossed five scoreless innings, allowing just four hits and one walk while striking out two batters.

"Smitty gave us a spot start that we needed," Berryhill said. "Gave us a quality five innings, more than we expected."

After 2.2 scoreless innings of relief from Justin Souza, the wheels came off for the bullpen in the eighth inning. Colt Hynes gave up back-to-back two-out singles to Taylor Lindsey and Matt Long.

Grant Green then ripped a two-run dobule to left field. Hynes got out of that jam, but Demel pitched himself into trouble in the ninth.

Demel gave up a leadoff double to C.J. Cron and a single to Brennan Boesch to put runners at the corners. Demel struck out Luis Jimenez and then intentionally walked Hester to load the bases.

Pinch hitter Drew Heid stepped in and drove a ball to left field. Pinch runner Lopez scored on the sacrifice fly to tie the game.

"Not a very good job by the pen," Berryhill said. "But they're going to get the ball (again) and they're going to get another chance."

Baxter led Albuquerque at the plate with his five hits, including two triples, though he scored just one run and had no RBI. He is now hitting .348/.412/.587 since being sent down by the Dodgers earlier this month.

"Bax, he's a proven player, he can swing the bat, no question," Berryhill said. "He's been hot of late. Outstanding night tonight, no question. Hopefully he can roll out another one like that (Wednesday)."

The Isotopes and Bees will play again Wednesday at 6:35 p.m. Albuquerque's starting pitcher is to be announced as Smith's start was moved up a day early after Red Patterson was scratched for undisclosed reasons.

"The rotation's kind of mixed up a little bit right now," Berryhill said. "We'll know more (Wednesday). Hopefully we'll get another quality start, whoever it is."

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