Photo: Spencer Griffin (21) leaves his bat at home plate after walking with the bases loaded. Kevin Maitan (right) scored on the play. (Steve Cirinna/Burlington Bees)
By John Bohnenkamp
It looked good.
It sounded good.
But when Adrian Rondon’s fly ball was caught on the warning track for the final out, it ended the frustrating night for the Burlington Bees.
A four-run fifth inning was all the Beloit Snappers needed in Friday’s 4-3 win in a Class A Midwest League game at Community Field.
It was a costly loss for the Bees (53-50 overall, 14-19 second half) who are seven games out of the second playoff spot in the Western Division as the second half closes in on the halfway mark.
It was an aggravating night for the Bees, who also lost center fielder Jordyn Adams to injury in the seventh inning. Beloit (38-62, 11-21) took two out of three games in the series.
“Frustrating,” Bees manager Jack Howell said. “At home you want to win two out of three. We just didn’t get the big knock, especially today.”
The Bees had just four hits, but left 10 baserunners, including the bases loaded in the third and seventh innings.
Bees starter Hector Yan breezed through the first 4 2/3 innings, although the Snappers made him work. Yan’s 78th pitch of the night was turned into a sinking fly ball by Beloit’s Lester Madden that was just out of reach of right fielder Spencer Griffin.
It was only the second hit of the game against Yan, but he was done, one out short of being in a position to get the win.
The look that typified the night came from Griffin, who bent over in frustration at not being able to make the play.
“Yan was good, and then we had to get him out because he was on a pitch count,” Howell said. “He was electric, I think.”
Reliever Austin Krzeminski then gave up a slicing double to Joseph Pena that just eluded the slide of left fielder Francisco Del Valle. Max Schuemann followed with a two-run single that got past the dive of shortstop Livan Soto. Devin Foyle and Anthony Churlin followed with RBI singles.
“Although Krem didn’t give up hard contact, it was base hit, base hit, base hit,” Howell said. “It’s the one thing about putting the ball in play versus striking out.”
The Bees rallied in the seventh when the Snappers got sloppy. Justin Jones singled to drive in one run, then Burlington loaded the bases with one out when Beloit reliever Chase Cohen dropped an infield popup. Alvaro Rubalcaba struck out, then Griffin walked to bring in a run. Del Valle then hit a fly ball to left field that settled into Madden’s glove for the third out.
“One more big hit,” Howell said.
Adams, the first-round pick of the Los Angeles Angels in last year’s Major League Baseball draft, was injured on an awkward fall as he tried to chase down Schuemann’s drive into the right-center field gap in the seventh. Adams was checked by Bees trainer Nick Faciana.
Adams tried to run and make a couple of cuts, but after consulting with Faciana and Howell, left the game. He was not limping.
Howell said he didn’t have an update on Adams after the game.
The Bees begin a five-game road trip, playing three games in Peoria starting with Saturday’s 6:35 p.m. game.
“We’ve got to get reorganized,” Howell said. “Get back on a little track.”