Things got a little out of control on Wednesday in Salt Lake -- the Sky Sox looked unstoppable, ripping the Bees for 22 runs on 27 hits.
That's when Paul McAnaulty did what needed to be done.
In an odd afternoon that had a touch of déjà vu and a lot of runs but no errors, the Triple-A Sky Sox defeated the Salt Lake Bees, 22-8, in a matinee at Spring Mobile Park.
The teams combined for 30 runs and 38 hits, with Colorado Springs managing the totals without the help of a home run or an error.
How does McAnaulty, Salt Lake's designated hitter, fit in? After homering for the second straight day in the third inning, he took the mound in the ninth and held the hot Sky Sox lineup to one hit in a scoreless frame, inducing a double play in his pitching debut.
The unique afternoon comes less than a year after he also homered in Salt Lake's 23-11 rout of Colorado Springs on Aug. 23, 2011. The Major League veteran was the only player in Wednesday's game that appeared in both slugfests.
Colorado Springs held a modest 8-4 lead heading into the sixth, when it scored six times. Salt Lake, the Angels' Triple-A affiliate, answered with three in the bottom of the frame, and the Sox came back with seven more in the top of the seventh.
Sky Sox No. 9 hitter, Dallas Tarleton went 3-for-6 with five RBIs, Matt McBride had four hits and five RBIs and Brandon Roberts, the No. 8 hitter, went 5-for-6 and knocked home four.
Then there was Chris Nelson, who plated two and fell a home run shy of the cycle, and Hernan Iribarren, who had four hits in seven at-bats. Every batter in the Sky Sox lineup finished with at least one hit and one RBI -- Chad Tracy, who went 1-for-4 with four runs scored, was the lone Colorado Springs hitter without a multi-hit effort.
Colorado Springs' offensive outburst marked the most runs scored without a home run in a Minor League game since July 29, 2011, when the Arizona League Cubs scored 24 to beat the Reds. It's the most runs without a homer in a game played above the complex level since at least 2004.
In terms of league records, it's the most runs scored by a Pacific Coast League team since McAnaulty's Salt Lake team scored 23 runs against Colorado Springs last August.
Colorado Springs has scored at least 20 runs in a game on six occasions since 2005, including a 25-run effort on June 28, 2005, against Fresno. Wednesday's game was the team's highest run output in a game since it plated 24 against Fresno on June 29, 2011.
McAnaulty, who went 4-for-5 with a homer and four RBIs in last year's rout and also homered in Tuesday's Bees' win, threw seven of his 10 pitches in the ninth for strikes -- Tommy Field hit a leadoff single, but the first baseman/DH got Iribarren to fly to right and then induced an inning-ending double play from Nelson, who was still eyeing a cycle-completing homer. It was his first career pitching appearance.
The Vernon Tigers, a Los Angeles County-based club that has not been in existence since 1925, holds the Pacific Coast League record with 35 runs in a game, oddly enough against Salt Lake, back on May 11, 1923. The two teams that day combined for 46 runs, also a PCL record.