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SALT LAKE CITY — A solid outing from starting pitcher Drew Rucinski wasn't enough for the Bees on Tuesday night as the team fell 5-2 to the Tacoma Rainiers before a rain-drenched crowd at Smith's Ballpark.
Rucinski gave up two earned runs over five and a third innings, with most of the damage coming off the bat of Tacoma left fielder Franklin Gutierrez. Gutierrez followed an Alex Yarbrough error in the second with a two-run shot to left-center, forcing Salt Lake into an early two-run hole.
"We made a mistake and gave up a two-run home run," Salt Lake manager Dave Anderson said. "Besides that, (Rucinski) threw the ball pretty well today. He made some mistakes when hitters were in hitters' counts, (but) he's gotten better. I expect him to continue to improve."
A two-out Rainier error in the third opened the way for back-to-back Bees hits coming from Yarbrough and Kyle Kubtiza. Kubtiza's blooper to left drove in left fielder Grant Green to cut the deficit 2-1.
But Gutierrez blasted another home run to lead off the fourth.
Salt Lake managed to plate one more run on a Ryan Wheeler ground-out that scored shortstop Josh Rutledge in the fourth. After that, Tacoma pitchers only allowed two hits and never allowed Bees hitters to seriously threaten the lead.
The Bees will look to avoid a Tacoma sweep Wednesday at Smith's Ballpark. Alex Clark is a sports writing intern for KSL.com. He currently studies digital journalism at BYU. EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter: alclark35