OGDEN -- One of the unshakeable truths of baseball is that all streaks have a shelf life. None can last forever -- the end, always, is inevitable.
On Friday, the Ogden Raptors learned this lesson, as they saw their seven-game winning streak vanish. Cause of death? The pitching, which gave up runs early and allowed Idaho Falls to add on throughout the game.
The Raptors allowed 12 runs and 15 hits, and a late comeback attempt fell short, leading to a 12-5 loss to the Chukars at Lindquist Field.
It was the first time the Raptors have lost since last Wednesday against Missoula. Despite losing, the Raptors maintained their one-game lead over Grand Junction in the Pioneer League South second-half standings.
"Tonight, we were sluggish," said Noel Cuevas. "We tried coming back a little, but then gave up a couple runs at the end of the game, and we kind of lost hope at the end."
Ogden starter Jonathan Martinez struggled in his debut with the Raptors. The right-hander gave up five runs (four earned) in four innings, putting the Raptors in an early hole.
Martinez had put together an encouraging season with the rookie-level Arizona League Dodgers before coming to Ogden. With the Dodgers, Martinez had a 3.05 ERA and was striking out over a batter per inning.
Though the pitching struggled, the Raptors' offense looked like it might stage a comeback, which seemed appropriate, given the myriad ways the Raptors have found to win during their three-week hot stretch.
Down by four in the seventh, the Raptors scored twice, the big blow coming on Jose Capellan's run-scoring double with two outs.
However, the Raptors wouldn't score again.
"The last week, we were either ahead, or if we were behind, we've been able to come back and win the game," Cuevas said. "We always stay positive and think we're going to be able to come back."
The Chukars snagged the runs right back in the top of the eighth off reliever Michael Drowne, who was in his fourth inning of work.
Drowne gave up four runs in 31/3 innings of work, costing the offense a chance to catch up.
The Chukars hit a pair of homers in the top of the ninth off reliever Riley Welch, part of a three-run inning.
Trailing by five, Ogden scored three runs in the fourth. The first four Raptors of the inning reached, including a two-run single from Bladimir Franco, but Franco was stranded on second, as the next three batters were retired.
Capellan, who went 2 for 5, was the only Raptor to get more than one hit.
The Chukars added to their lead in the sixth, scoring twice off Drowne, on a homer from Carlos Garcia and run-scoring hit from Aldaberto Mondesi.
The Raptors open a two-game series with Orem tonight, starting at 7 p.m. at Lindquist Field.