By John Bohnenkamp
It’s about getting stops for the Burlington Bees.
The 10-6 loss to the Lafayette Aviators in Saturday’s Prospect League game at Community Field was the fourth consecutive defeat for the Bees, who are struggling to hold down opposing offenses.
The Bees (23-27 overall, 8-13 second half) have given up an average of 11.3 runs in the skid.
“At some point, you have to hold somebody down,” Bees manager Gary McClure said. “We’re giving up eight, nine runs a game.”
Bees starter Brady McLean gave up eight runs in five innings, surrendering 11 hits. The last three runs came in the fifth after the Bees had tied the game a half-inning earlier.
“At some point, you’ve got to hold somebody down if you’re going to give yourself a chance to win,” McClure said. “The game always comes back to pitching, and we’re struggling right now with that.”
Lafayette (35-14, 16-5), which has the league’s best record, shut down the Bees after that. Reliever Trevian Meza struck out nine in four innings.
“The second guy was pretty good,” McClure said. “He was bringing it up there pretty good. He was probably as good as we’ve seen this summer, right-handed anyway.”
The Bees fell 3 1/2 games back in the Great River Division with 10 games to play.
“We’ve just got to keep grinding right now,” McClure said. “A win is the next game away, if you grind right now and play hard. We’ve got to get some pitching coming up.”
HITS AT THE BOTTOM: The Bees had nine hits, with seven coming from the bottom four hitters in the lineup.
Joey Fitzgerald, Zane Zielinski and Sam Monroe each had two hits.
UP NEXT: The two teams play a 2 p.m. game on Saturday.
Photo: Burlington’s Ben Nippolt tags out Lafayette’s Oscar Ponce at third base in the fourth inning. (Steve Cirinna/Burlington Bees)