By Benjamin Boxer
The Salt Lake Stingers are glad to be out of Fresno. Following the Stingers” impressive series with the PCL leading Tacoma Rainiers, the Stingers were asserting themselves as one of the top two teams in the PCL.
Apparently, the Fresno Grizzlies were not aware of that.
The Stingers” loss to the Grizzlies on Tuesday, June 12, was their third in a row. The Grizzlies rallied from a game one loss to win the remaining three games of the four game series.
The Stingers lost the series three games to one. It was only the third lost series of the season for the Stingers. The most concerning issue for Manager Garry Templeton has been the offense.
In games two and three, the Stingers were held to only five hits. With the Stingers struggling at the plate, they only managed to score six runs in the final three games of the series.
The Stingers have only managed 21 runs in their last 10 road games. Of those games, the Stingers only won three. The Stingers had the day off Wednesday, June 13, before facing the Sacramento Rivercats.
The Rivercats are coming off a series split with the Colorado Springs Sky Sox.
Sacramento is currently 1 1/2 games behind the Tucson Sidewinders in the PCL Southern Division. Winning three out of four from the Stingers would put the Rivercats right in the thick of the playoff race.
The Stingers will have to find a way to get more offensive production if they expect to come away from Sacramento with a series win.
In the Rivercats” last series, they combined for 17 runs in four games, including a 9-1 crushing win over the Sky Sox.
The Stingers” struggles at the plate have been caused by pure inconsistency.
Larry Barnes is setting the example for Stingers hitters. Barnes is currently in the midst of a 12 game hitting streak. The most noticeable absence in the Stingers” offense has been the power of left fielder Scott Morgan. Morgan only managed one hit in 17 at-bats in Fresno and saw his batting average drop from 2.80 to 2.66 in four days.
On Wednesday”s day off, expect the Stingers to have a serious session of batting practice before heading to Sacramento.
The Stingers have a four game series with the Rivercats before finishing their road trip with a four game series against the PCL Southern Division leaders -Tucson Sidewinders.
Over the last four days, the Stingers” lead in the Central Division has dropped to 4.5 games.
The second place Iowa Cubs have won three of their last four games and are heading into a four game series with the last place Omaha Golden Spikes.