In a game where 19 of the 23 total runs came in the second and third innings, it was a fielding error that doomed the Ogden Raptors, who fell 13-10 in the first of six games against the Grand Junction Rockies in Colorado.
The Raptors are now 4-9 in their last 13 games and the surging Rockies are 8-2 in their last 10 games and now have the best overall record in the Pioneer League South Division.
Grand Junction native and former Rockies player Owen Taylor put Ogden (30-22, 1-3 2nd half) ahead 2-0 in the second inning with a two-run homer.
The Rockies (30-21, 4-0) quickly answered in the bottom of the second when two-run doubles from Nate Scantlin and Luke Roskam put Grand Junction up 5-2.
Ogden retook the lead in the top of the third when Taylor was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, then Jack Johnson later tripled in a pair of runs for a 6-5 advantage.
With one out in the bottom of the third, Austin Elder singled to score Josh Elvir to tie it 6-6.
It could have remained tied when the next batter, Kelvin Maldonado, grounded up the middle with a runner on first. Ogden shortstop Pavin Parks was a half-step from second base when the ball arrived — a tailor-made double-play ball to end the inning — but Parks fumbled it and the inning continued.
Scantlin followed with a two-run triple, Frankie Jezioro — released by the Raptors earlier this season — hit a two-run homer, and Elvir hit a two-run homer. The game was decided already at 13-6.
As Colt Mink pitched a great 4 2/3 of middle relief for Ogden — allowing one earned run after starter Reza Aleaziz allowed seven earned runs in 2 1/3 innings — the Raptors kept in the ballgame in the fifth inning when Chuck Steele cleared loaded bases with a triple, then scored on a single from Josh Broughton to make it 13-10.
Ogden got two runners on base in each of the eighth and ninth innings but ultimately did not threaten to tie the game.
Broughton hit 3 for 5 to lead the Raptors at the plate, with Taylor going 2 for 2 and driving in three runs.
League-leading hitter David Maberry hit 2 for 5, crushing a hard single to left to start Ogden's rally in the third to extend his hitting streak to 27 games, inching him closer to the all-time league record of 32.
Scantlin, Jezioro and Elvir each had three hits for GJ, with Scantlin totaling a double and two triples.
The two teams continue the series at 6:40 p.m. Thursday.
Grand Junction 13, Ogden 10
Billings 10, Boise 9
Idaho Falls 9, Rocky Mountain 4
Missoula 15, Great Falls 2
Idaho Falls 3-1
Great Falls 1-3
Grand Junction 4-0
Rocky Mountain 0-4
* — denotes 1st half champion