For nearly two months, the Ogden Raptors have avoided taking consecutive losses. That streak seemed impossible to hold for the rest of the season, and it became even more impossible Sunday when the Raptors committed five errors.
Ogden pitching took a beating for the second straight day, compounded by those five mistakes, and the Idaho Falls Chukars defeated the Raptors 13-9 at Lindquist Field.
It was the first time since June 20 that the Raptors (39-12, 8-5) lost consecutive games and only the second time this season.
The sloppy play came into particular focus in the fifth inning. Ogden had just pulled a 6-2 deficit to 6-5 in the fourth inning before the first three Chukars to bat in the fifth reached on errors. Second baseman Jorbit Vivas, center fielder Andy Pages and pitcher Nelfri Contreras had the miscues.
That loaded the bases for Tyler James, who roped a two-run double. Idaho Falls scored four times in the frame to extend its lead to 10-5 and Ogden couldn’t catch up the rest of the night.
Kevin Malisheski made his first start for Ogden since July 29, scratched from his last Raptors start and from throwing in the Aug. 6 All-Star game due to soreness. He took the loss, allowing five earned runs in 3 1/3 innings.
Only eight of Idaho Falls’ 13 runs were earned. Malisheski, Contreras and Hunter Speer each gave up at least three runs, though all five unearned runs came with Contreras on the mound.
Jacob Cantleberry made his Ogden debut to much success, throwing scoreless innings in the sixth and seventh while allowing one hit.
Aldrich De Jongh and Cesar Mendoza each hit their first home runs as Raptors. De Jongh hit a solo homer in the third inning that briefly put Ogden ahead 2-1. Vivas hit an RBI double in the fourth to cut it to 6-5 before the disastrous start to the top of the fifth.
Mendoza’s solo homer in the bottom of the fifth made it 10-6.
Idaho Falls pushed across three runs in the eighth, including a solo homer from Brady McConnell, to make it 13-6.
De Jongh hit a two-RBI single in the bottom of the ninth, and Jon Littell singled in a run, to get the Raptors to within 13-9 before Marco Hernandez struck out to end the game.
Ogden stayed a half-game ahead of Grand Junction in the Pioneer League South Division second half standings.
The Raptors split their four-game series with Idaho Falls, averaging 4,970 fans per game in the series. Ogden now hosts the Missoula Osprey (28-23, 8-5) for four games beginning at 7 tonight.