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It was a good night for sprawling out on the lawn beyond the left-field fence at Spring Mobile Ballpark especially for those seeking a home run ball.
The Salt Lake Bees (39-40) sent a few shots in that direction Tuesday night in their 6-3 win against the Reno Aces (46-33). The home victory in front of 6,711 fans gave the Bees a 3-1 edge in the four-game series, a measure of revenge after Reno swept them during the last home series in April.
The Bees took the lead for good in the bottom of the fifth, when back-to-back homers by Adam Heether and Ed Lucas gave Salt Lake a 4-3 advantage. Lucas, whose home run was his only hit of the night, couldn't believe his luck when he saw a hanging changeup that he rocketed over the wall.
"I've actually never hit back-to-back before because I'm always trying too hard to match it," Lucas said. "I think when you get deeper in the year, guys don't care as much about their numbers and everyone sits back and sees the ball a little bit better."
Luis Jimenez had started off the game with a two-run blast in the bottom of the first that gave the Bees a 2-1 lead against the Aces.
But it was the twin homers in the fifth that truly crippled Reno. Reliever Taylor Sinclair gave up both shots, then hit Matt Long with a pitch before getting yanked. Long scored on a subsequent wild pitch by Sam Demel, then Hank Conger batted in Doug Deeds on a tricky hopper to the mound.
Neither team scored a run for the rest of the game, as the Bees emptied their bullpen to close out a solid if not exceptional start from Eric Hurley. Though Hurley (7-6) gave up all five Aces hits, he showed a knack for getting fly balls and ground balls at the right time. Reno never scored more than one run in any inning.
It was a good recovery from loading the bases twice in the first. Reno ended up stranding nine runners in the game.
"It could've gotten real ugly in that first inning," manager Keith Johnson said. "He didn't have his best stuff early, but he battled and held on for five innings."
It was the fifth series win for the Bees at home, and Johnson said he hoped more winning would be on its way for a club that is one victory away from a .500 record.
"It was good to come back and win a series, especially since we lost that first game," he said. "It's just another chapter in the book, so to speak. Our season has been a bit of a roller coaster so far."
Raptors 6, Idaho Falls 3 • The Raptors scored the go-ahead run in the seventh, then added two insurance runs in the eighth to give Ogden the victory at home.
Rockies 12, Owlz 7 • Grand Junction led 11-3 by the fifth inning and visiting Orem, despite a five-run sixth inning, couldn't recover.
Bees 6, Aces 3
• Salt Lake's Eric Hurley earns a win with a solid five-inning effort.
• Three home runs lift the Bees to the win.
• The Bees clinch the series against the Aces after being swept at home in April by Reno.