This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Something was definitely different about batting practice for Salt Lake prior to Thursday's 5-4 loss to Fresno.
It was warm. Well, warmer. At least temperatures were in the low 60s, which was quite a bit different from the previous 11 home dates when conditions were more along the lines of football than baseball.
And it was dry. All of which makes the Bees' successful start to the season all the more unlikely, though deceiving. Conditions were quite different in Tucson and Las Vegas, where the Bees were a sparkling 6-2.
Home has been a somewhat different story. The team's third consecutive loss dropped the Bees (12-8) to .500 in Spring Mobile Ballpark.
"This game is built on routine," said Salt Lake manager Keith Johnson on Tuesday. "At some point the weather is going to get better."
Salt Lake starter Ryan Ketchner went five steady innings, allowing two runs and seven hits. He downplayed the weather problems.
"We're used to it," he said.
As its been in a series of one-run decisions, the Bees' third consecutive loss was determined by lack of execution, including the lack of a successful sacrifice bunt with runners on base.
Salt Lake was 2 for 8 with runners in scoring position. Meanwhile, Fresno (11-11) was 4 of 13.
"It's about execution," Johnson said. "The higher you go at this level and the next level, its about execution. When you don't execute it seems that inevitably it leads to [the opponent's] positive execution."
Rain and occasional snow has often canceled pre-game batting and infield practice, leaving the Bees little choice but to hit in the batting cages next to the clubhouse. Pitchers have slogged through the sodden outfield, trying to get in their running.
Forget working on fundamentals.
"It's still early," Johnson said. "We're getting guys healthy and more consistent. The first 20 games, every game has been tight nearly every night."
Fresno 5, Salt Lake 4
R Salt Lake's Jeff Baisley homers and doubles and scores twice.
• Gil Velazquez singles in the seventh and extends his hitting streak to 14 games.
• Fresno's Brandon Belt drives in two runs with a homer and a double.