SALT LAKE CITY — With three more homers at Spring Mobile Ballpark on Tuesday, the Salt Lake Bees are working to even out an odd statistic.
Prior to the current homestand, less than a third of Salt Lake's home runs — 20 out of 62 — were hit at home, while 42 were hit on the road.
According to manager Keith Johnson, the power shortage may have been due to the positioning of the sun in the early evening.
"The toughest part is, our home games, the first four or five innings, those shadows are really, really tough," he said. "With the pitchers starting out in the sun and the hitters in the shade ... then slowly it goes back and both guys are in the shade with the hitters eyes in the sun.
It's a tough go at it in the beginning of the game."
Johnson attributed the struggle in the later innings to solid, consistent pitching by Salt Lake opponents.
"If you have a good pitcher, and he's able to get himself on track — throwing strikes and getting in a groove by the time sun goes down — it doesn't matter," he said.
Regardless of the reason, Johnson refused to fully excuse the shortage.
"It is what it is," he said. "You know what to expect and you have to deal with it as best as possible."Comment on this story
Claiming the series with eight home runs in three consecutive victories over the Reno Aces, Salt Lake seems to finally be "dealing." Ed Lucas, Luis Jimenez, and Adam Heether each hit one over the fence in Tuesday's 6-3 victory.
The Bees enjoyed a strong fifth inning with back-to-back home runs from Heether and Lucas, and a Hank Conger RBI.
"It's the class of our division, the team that's in first place here," Johnson said with satisfaction. "And they swept us last time they were here, so it was good to come back and win a series, especially after they won that first game."